Review: One Life

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Title: One Life
MPA Rating: PG
Director: James Hawes
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Lena Olin, Johnny Flynn
Runtime: 1 hr 49 mins

What It Is: During World War II Englishman Nicholas Winton (Flynn) tries to help children stuck between a possible war and a hard place in 1939 Czechoslovakia. Flash forward to a more modern setting and an older Nicholas (Hopkins) is looking to clear some space in his home. A suitcase full of files from his time saving children from the Nazis. After showing this suitase to someone the humble gentleman is in for a wonderful surprise. One that includes some much needed respect for a man that saved many lives and in the process changed even more of them.

What We Think: Anthony Hopkins is so damn good here. He won the Oscar for The Father and I didn’t find that film gripping me quite like this one. Hawes did a great job of playing between the two timelines. Sure it’s all a bit flat but what makes the film work is relying on solid acting and excellent filmmaking. No tricks, no fancy angles. Just good ole fashion in camera focus. This is a great film. One that’ll pull at your heartstrings. One that’s sure to get the tear streaming down your face. It might come off to those jaded in life as schmaltzy. To those of us not completely devoid of joy its a truly heartfelt experience.

Our Grade: B+, I enjoyed this one. Sue me. Sometimes the world just needs to know about the silent heroes that live within it. That is what Nicholas Winton was. That is who he remained until the day he died. A hero. Saving one life, saves the whole world. James Hawes doesn’t overstep the boundaries of the story he wants to tell. That’s really all you can ask of a director here. To be respectful of the material while making it interesting. Hawes does this and makes a film that is quite good this early in the year.

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