Tnx Tiffany and Rebekah for letting me take part!
Number of Times Seen – Twice (24 Oct 2014 and 13 Dec 2020)
Link to original review – Here
Brief Synopsis – During the height of World War II, a Jewish family and their neighbors go into hiding in a secret attic to try and elude the Nazi’s who have occupied their country.
My Take on it – In order to add a bit of diversity to this blogathon, I decided to choose three films that have blatant Hanukah references.
Many people will see this film on this list of holiday movies and be confused.
It is actually one of the very best holiday movies due to such a powerful scene at the midway point.
This is an amazing film that is able to be so gripping and captivating the whole way through.
They are able to make us feel as if we are experiencing the cramped and claustrophobic atmosphere of the self imposed imprisonment that these characters must live through in order to try and stay safe from the Nazis.
The pacing of the story is superbly done and despite a three hour runtime, it never drags along because it is always developing and cultivating the characters with so much to do.
The passage of time in this film is dealt with really well and we get to see how this kind of lifestyle could effect these various characters in so many different ways.
The cast is superb and each play these characters in such a realistic way especially given the fact that they are always evolving over the course of the story.
The fact that most people are aware on some level of the way that the epilogue plays out adds so much more poignancy to the story as it unfolds.
The most powerful scene in the film (IMHO) is the Hanukkah scene which in and of itself is quite symbolic since it alludes to the fact that these 8 characters somehow are connected to the 8 days of the holiday that have candles that burn so bright.
The meaning of the holiday is seen through the eyes of these characters in hiding and it adds such a deeper level to understanding the way that they were all effected by this kind of quarantine.
The fact that this scene occurs at near the midway point is also quite pivotal for the story because the tone changes during the second half and this scene is the one that connects the two.
This was a film that was nominated for 8 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director, yet lost all but 3 of them; 2 for technical categories and Best Supporting Actress for Shelly Winters.
Bottom Line – Amazing film that is so captivating from start to finish. They do a wonderful job capturing the claustrophobic aspect of a family in hiding and make the viewer feel as if they are right there with them. The story moves along at a great pace where we get to see the passage of time and how each of these characters is affected by their self imposed imprisonment to stay safe from the Nazis. The cast is superb and each makes us care so much about who they were because the story has enough time to develop each of the characters on a much deeper level. This adds to the impact of the story especially given the fact that most people are aware of the epilogue of the story in some way or another. One of the most powerful scenes is the Hanukkah scene which is quite symbolic especially given the fact that 8 people are in hiding which corresponds to the 8 days of the holiday filed with the light of candles. This scene is also a pivotal one that occurs around the midway point. Nominated for 8 Oscars including Picture and Director, but only managed to win 3; two technical awards and Winters as Best Supporting Actress. Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Shelley Winters donated the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award she won for the role of Mrs. Van Daan to the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, after promising Otto Frank that she would do so if she were to win the award. It remains on permanent display in the museum to this day. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (no change from original review)
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