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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Monday May 20th 2024

Movie Corner: One Life

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Howard McQuitter II

4.5/5 Stars

Bleeker Street



Saving a life (or lives) from death or injury just may be the most principled act one can do on Earth. One such concern for saving lives from certain death is the story of Nicholas “Nicky” Winton (played by Johnny Flynn as a young man and Anthony Hopkins as an old man). Nicky is a young London broker on a visit to Prague, Czechoslovakia (now known as The Czech Republic), saving children, mostly Jewish, from extermination at Auschwitz and other concentration camps.

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Mr. Winton risks his life orchestrating a way for the children to get to the United Kingdom (UK) or even beyond the Atlantic Ocean to the United States. The men, women and children are refugees from Germany and Austria who are uncertain about their destiny. Winton had arrived in Prague in December 1938, in Sudentenland, just shortly after Hitler occupied Sudentenland. Winton’s task is herculean and dangerous and if he’s caught he can lose his life. Rabbi Hertz (Samuel Finzi) in Prague asks how and why Winton has taken such an extraordinary interest in the difficult undertaking. Winton tells the rabbi he’s from the UK, born to German-Jewish immigrants, but baptized and raised a Christian. The viewer of One Life will likely respond in a visceral manner. One Life is understandably compared to Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece Schindler’s List (1993). On the other end of the spectrum, a well-to-do family lives next to Auschwitz, oblivious to the genocide of Jews and others next to their property in the very recent film Zone of Interest (2024). Years pass and as an old man Winton will reap what life is all about.

Cast: Anthony Hopkins (Nicky Winton), Lena Olin (Greta Winton), Johnny Flynn (Young Nicky Winton), Helena Bonham Carter (Babi Winton), Tim Steed (Bernard), Matilda Thorpe (Nina), Daniel Brown (Frank), Alex Sharp (Trevor Chadwick), Jiri Simek (Rudi), Romola Garai (Doreen Warriner).
Director: James Hawes.
Screenwriter: Nick Drake.
Cinematography: Zac Nicholson.
Original Music: Yolker Bertelmann.
Running time: 101 minutes.
Rating: PG.

Howard McQuitter II is a longtime movie critic. He has been reviewing movies for the alley since 2002.

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