Waiting For Anya (2020)

“Children, Jewish children. Some people collect coins, stamps. We collect enemies of the Reich. They get passed down through France. And when they get here, Benjamin gets them out from under my feet by smuggling them across the mountains into Spain. They’re safe there.” – Horcada

Number of Times Seen – 1 (30 Jul 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A young boy living in a small French village occupied by the Germans during World War II is asked to help hide Jewish children on their way to a safe zone in Spain.

My Take on it – This is a film that I came across not long ago and the premise seemed a bit intriguing so I decided to finally check it out.

The premise is actually quite good, but they present things in a lack luster way because it all comes across with less emotion than it probably should.

The film does have a great cast, yet even with Anjelica Huston, Jean Reno and Thomas Kretschmann in supporting roles, things feel a bit too unexciting due to their limited roles.

The story is carried well by Noah Schnapp in the lead role and we get a clear idea as to the dilemmas that he faces as an innocent young boy once the Germans occupy their small town.

The film has good dialogue and there are a few great conversations between characters that really resonate the feelings of that time.

The story unfortunately seems far too tame for a story that takes place during the war in occupied lands.

The relationships between the German occupiers and the villagers feel a bit too friendly and it makes one truly wonder if this is really how things happened at that time.

The film has a great message about hope and the ability to help others whenever one can even in dire situations.

It’s too bad that this story isn’t as impactful and poignant as it could be.

Bottom Line – Interesting premise that works well yet isn’t as powerful as one might hope. The cast is great with Huston, Reno and Kretschmann all doing fine jobs with their limited roles. Schnapp is able to hold his own in the lead role of an innocent young boy trying to find a way to maneuver within his village once the Germans show up. The dialogue is good and there are a few powerful conversations yet overall, things seem more tame than they probably should be. The relationships between the German occupiers is a bit too friendly and I wonder if that was truly how they treated the villagers at that time. The story has a great message about helping others who are oppressed when you can but the story should be more impactful than it really is.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Waiting for Anya, is a film adaptation of the book by War Horse author Michael Morpurgo. Its book counterpart was first published in Great Britain in 1990. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)


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