THE NOTE BOOK, but anyone who mistakes this film with the movie crafted from the sentimental, sodden Nicholas Sparks novel will probably go running from the theater within a very few minutes. This newer Hungarian film traces the lives of these twins, once they have been sent off to the country to live with Grandma, after Hitler's troops have entered Hungary and begun despoiling it.
Using twins as its main characters to bring the point of the novel and film home was a fine idea because of the nature of twins: to be so firmly rooted one to the other that no other character could in any way exist to pull the pair apart. Had the "hero" of the tale been a singular character, he (or she) might have looked to another, older, wiser person for guidance here.
Ulrich Thomsen, shown two photos below as the leading German officer.)
Le Grand Cahier, as a kind of recognizable subtitle), which we see from time to time.
How war dehumanizes a population is the major theme here, as shown us via the twins. Not that certain members of that population were not already plenty dehumanized (Grandma, for one). But how our boys lose all shred of humanity until their final shocking act -- which, not incidentally, I think, allows them to "grow" in a certain way that they have, until now, denied themselves.
László Gyémánt and András Gyémánt) give as good a performance (for untutored actors) as you could wish, even if their expressions seldom vary, and they never seem to outgrow their matching sweaters over the course of the war.
Piroska Molnár) especially good, while the twins' mom (Gyöngyvér Bognár, shown above and below) and dad (Ulrich Matthes) are in fine form to show us the before and after of that particular generation during WWII.
Sony Pictures Classics, The Notebook (Le Grand Cahier) opens this Friday, August 29, in New York (at the Quad Cinema) and Los Angeles at Laemmle's Royal. The following Friday it will expand in the L.A. area to Laemmle's Town Center 5 and Playhouse 7.