THE ZOOKEEPER’s WIFE – Rated PG-13 – 2hrs. 4 mins.
Starring Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh, Daniel Bruhl, Shira Haas, Timothy Radford and Val Maloku.
Based on the book by Diane Ackerman and brought to life by Director Niki Caro, we meet real-life Zookeeper’s Antonina (Jessica Chastain) and Jan Zabinski (Johan Heldenbergh), living out their lives as the owner’s and caretakers of the renowned Warsaw Zoo.
Enjoying life with their creatures, and son Ryszard (Timothy Radford / Val Maloku), it seems that friend and fellow animal lover, German Zoologist Lutz Heck (Daniel Bruhl), is making more visits to their zoo than usual, causing both Antonina and Jan to become rather uneasy, as to what his plans for them, and their zoo, really are. When the German’s decide to bomb, and then seize their beloved Zoo, they then proceed to round up all the Jewish people throughout Warsaw. Seeing this tragedy unfold right before their very eyes, Antonina and Jan make a pact to not only find a way to save their closest Jewish friends, but to attempt to save as many Jews as they can ~ using their Zoo as a refuge~ until they can get everyone safely out of Warsaw, and away from the madness the German’s apparently have planned…
I give THE ZOOKEEPER’s WIFE a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN: This film is a true cinematic Tour de Force…full of incredible imagery, a historically significant storyline, and truly beautiful and unforgettable performances by both Chastain and Heldenbergh. Caro managed to bring out the best in all her actors this time around, as there was not one flawed performance throughout this film – including the performances by Bruhl, and young actors Haas, Radford and Maloku as well. I love true stories, and when they are as touching and memorable as the tale of these two heroes amongst all the madness of WWII, I have no choice but to insist that you see this film on the biggest screen you can find this weekend, because viewing this film will leave an indelible mark not only on your heart, but your soul as well, as each passing frame seems to become even more incredibly moving than the last, making THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE, the best film I’ve seen thus far in 2017!!!