On the other hand, this big-budget U.S./UK/Czech Republic production is not the "family" movie some audiences may expect of this tale of the wife of the zookeeper in Warsaw, Poland, who manages, against all odds and expectations, to save quite a number of Jews during the war -- even as she fails to protect many of the zoo animals that she and her husband so love and nurture.
Angela Workman, adapted from the best-selling book of the same name by Diane Ackerman, and directed by Niki Caro (shown at right), the movie does not bypass the Nazi extermination (we see an elderly mother and her daughter both executed at close range), but it keeps this to a minimum -- which actually adheres rather closely to the facts, since we told during the film's end credits that, of the hundred of people saved who passed through this zoo, only those two women were caught and killed.
Whale Rider is probably her most critically lauded film and McFarland, USA her most successful at the U.S. box-office -- remains a favorite of TrustMovies, if only for her majestic (and majestically crazy) film, A Heavenly Vintage -- which, if you have not seen, you simply must.
Johan Heldenbergh (above, of the Oscar-nominated Broken Circle Breakdown), while her antagonist is portrayed with lip-smacking relish by the talented German actor, Daniel Brühl (below).
Focus Features and running a lengthy but full-of-incident 124 minutes, The Zookeeper's Wife opened nationwide this week. Click here to find the theater nearest you.