Tag Archives: Jessica Chastain

The Zookeeper’s Wife Movie Review

One of my favorite quotes from the Talmud is as follows:

Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if they destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if they saved an entire world.

Jan and Antonina Żabiński saved the lives of hundreds of Jews during World War II.

Their story is chronicled in the new film, The Zookkeeper’s Wife, (which is based upon the book of the same name). Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh) and his wife, Antonina (Jessica Chastain) are the caretakers of the Warsaw Zoo. When the Germans invade Poland and start to slowly tighten the noose around Jan and Antonina’s Jewish friends and neighbors, they make the bold and very dangerous decision to help as many survive as they can. Their task is made harder by Lutz Heck (Daniel Bruhl), a colleague who has joined the Nazis and whose feelings for Antonina go beyond the professional sphere.

Can Antonina and Jan continue to save lives or will they be caught and killed by the Germans?

While this movie is a bit on the long side, I very much enjoyed it. Movies about the Holocaust are normally focused on the victims and survivors, not based on those who were brave enough to defy the Germans and attempt to save lives. In focusing on Jan and Antonina, I was reminded that even in times of extreme darkness, there is still light, courage and hope in the world.

I recommend it.

The Zookeeper’s Wife is presently in theaters.

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Filed under Books, History, Movie Review, Movies

The Heiress- Well Worth It

Tonight I had the pleasure of seeing the latest Broadway revival of The Heiress, a theatrical reboot of the Henry James novel, Washington Square.

The story revovles around Catherine Sloper (Jessica Chastain), her father, Dr. Austin Sloper (David Straitharn) and Morris Townsend (Dan Stevens), the man who Catherine wishes to marry against her father’s wishes.

Dr. Sloper lost his wife decades ago, but still blames Catherine for his wife’s death and constantly puts her down. He believes that Morris only loves his daughter for her fortune and openly dissaproves of their marriage.

The casting of the main three characters was impeccable. Jessica Chastain plays Catherine as an intelligent young woman, stifled by her emotionally distant and demanding father. David Straitharn as Dr. Sloper is a man who loves his daughter the best way he can.  Dan Stevens plays Morris Townsend as a man who is intelligent and charming, but may have ulterior motives.

The play was riveting, I was unsure until the end if Catherine would stay with Morris or send him packing.

See it while you can.

 

 

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Filed under Broadway Play Review, Reviews