This review is going to be shorter than some of the others that I’ve done in the past. This time last year, The Zookeeper’s Wife was looking like a surefire Oscar contender. but the sudden release date change made that very unlikely. I don’t think that’s entirely fair though, because this movie is very well made and extremely Oscar friendly.
But I can’t act like it’s a masterpiece. I think Nathaniel R. said it best in his review of the film, “It’s difficult to say what crucial spark is missing as the movie is well acted and handsomely made.”
While the Holocaust has been shown in countless other films at this point, it is still very relevant, especially given the today’s politics. Suddenly the tyranny and the oppression don’t seem as far away as they once did.
Jessica Chastain proves herself as one of the most talented actresses working in Hollywood today. She fully embodies the character, and could have very easily been a part of the Best Actress conversation if the film had a later release date. Her co-stars all do a good job of creating the remainder of the characters.
I genuinely don’t know why this film doesn’t hit me as hard as some others with similar themes.=. Maybe he just seen so many films at this point that it takes something special for a film to truly stand out. I would feel guilty for having this opinion, if not for the fact that everyone else seems to share it. Nobody dislikes this movie, but no one seems to love it either.
There’s no denying that the film is well made, with strong production design and an amazing score. This is one of those instances where what you see is what you get. If you watch the trailer and you feel that you’ll enjoy the film, then you probably will. But you’re unlikely to be blown away by it.
*** out of ****