BLACK BOOK (A-)
The wonderful invention of movie channels has again brought me across yet another spectacular film. I stumbled across it because I saw the goddess Carice Van Houten's (Valkyrie) face glowing on the screen. The first time I saw Black Book I missed the beginning, but still followed the story just fine halfway through it. Because movie channels are awesome I was able to catch the last 15 minutes of another showing later that week, and I saw the whole film just yesterday. It is a wonderful picture.
Black Book is actually a foreign film completely in subtitles. That can be bothersome for certain members of the movie going public, but this film is so good it is worth the effort of reading.
Carice plays Rachel Stein, a Dutch Jewish singer hiding out from the Nazis in the Netherlands. As many of you know, the Nazi influence spread all over Europe, even to the small countries like the Netherlands. Rachel and her family are befriended by an "ally" to Jews, and promises to help them escape Nazi persecution for a sum of money. All Jews were instructed to take only what they could carry, and all their valuables. They are lead into a swamp, and directly into a trap set up by the Nazis to loot the Jewish bodies.
Rachel watches her family die by gunfire, but she avoids the same fate by diving underwater to escape the bullets. She makes it back to the Netherlands with the help of an actual friend who recruits her to join the resistance against the Nazi regime. She dies her hair blonde, changes her name to Ellis De Vris and uses her looks to catch the eye of a Nazi officer. Through him she gets a job as a singer at Nazi parties and infiltrates the the Third Reich through modes of espionage.
If that doesn't sound interesting, check yourself for a pulse. Or do some research on Hitler vs. Jews.
Carice does not play a damsel in distress in this world of conflict and devastation. She holds her own against the Nazis, and as an actress in this project. Carice is not only gorgeous, but her seduction with her body carved by angels is simply stunning to watch. Every second on screen she commands viewers complete attention (especially the many scenes she is without clothes). This woman has star power.
The story as described earlier is obviously as good as they come. The script rallies the audience behind the beautiful spy Ellis as she uses deceit to penetrate Nazi hierarchy.The dialogue between characters is powerful and pulls on the emotions of the audience to boost story telling. The extra special thing about this story is the development of its lead character Rachel/Ellis. By the end she is dealing sweet revenge and is as ruthless as the Nazis themselves.
If you ever get lucky enough to stumble across this film, make sure you check it out. I just purchased it on eBay so I have an opportunity to watch it again, because it is not going to be found on local store shelves. Now I can watch Carice over and over...her and that cute German dialect.