One Life – Movie Review

Another masterclass from Tony H

What’s it about?

The story of Nicholas Winton, a British humanitarian who helped save hundreds of Central European children from the Nazis on the eve of World War II.

What’d we think?

That was the quickest hour and fifty minutes I’ve experienced in a very long time. One Life is devastating, heart-wrenching and beautifully brave. This movie does a terrific job of paying tribute to the survivors and the helpers who risked their lives every day in the wake of such horror. It has a simple yet fiercely important message: All it takes is one ordinary person, performing small acts of bravery every day.

Anthony Hopkins is a master in front of the camera. His eyes, his micro-expressions, his mannerisms, and his voice are all a masterclass in how to tell a story by creating a universe within yourself. The world is not done with this 85-year-old rockstar, and I beg, on my hands and knees, for him to churn out more movies for poor beggars like me. There are others in this film (hard to believe), and it is expertly cast – Helena Bonham Carter (the Queen herself), Johnny Flynn (Emma 2020), Romola Garai (Atonement), Lena Olin (if you don’t know her, please get educated) and even sneaky appearances from Jonathan Pryce and Samantha Spiro (of Sex Education fame)!

The director, James Hawes, does a superb job of weaving the present with the past, never too much of either. Hawes has been limited to the small screen but has created the calibre of work you could be proud of for shows such as The Alienist, Black Mirror, and Snowpiercer. However, make no mistake they are different mediums, and he made the switch look effortless.  I am impressed and waiting eagerly to see what he will do next.

The best movies are the ones that leave you stirred long after the fact. Maybe I’m sensitive, or maybe this is just a fantastic film recounting a remarkable story that shouldn’t be glossed over. It’s haunting, striking, and the memory of it will stay with you long after you’ve finished crying in the parking lot – like me.

A biopic worth the trip to the cinema
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