Julia Jarmond (Kristin Scott Thomas) plays an American
journalist living in Paris, writing for a current affairs magazine.
Julia has a French husband, Bertrand Tezac (Frederic Pierrot), and a 12
year old daughter, Zoe (Karina Hin). Julia begins to investigate an
event in Paris in July of 1942 when a large number of Jews were arrested
and taken to the ‘Vel' d'Hiv’ Velodrome prior to their arrest by French
Police. At the same time, Julia and Bertrand renovate Bertrand’s
parents' old flat in the Marais district, where many of the Jews were
rounded up. When Julia discovers that the Tezacs moved there in August
1942, Julia begins to question Bertrand but Bertrand knows nothing of
the events that occurred so many years ago which will, in the near
future, very much affect his own life.
The movie begins in that same apartment in 1942. The
French police arrive to arrest a Jewish family. Sarah (Melusine Mayance),
aged about 10, hides her little brother, Michel (Paul Mercier), in a
cupboard. She locks the door with the intention of rescuing him later in
the day. She makes him promise that he won't come out, because there is
great danger. However, Sarah and her parents are taken away by the
French Police and placed in a prison camp. Sarah urgently needs to
return to free her brother.
Julia, who is going through her own personal dilemma
about whether to abort her pregnancy with Bertrand, uncovers and
investigates this story in France in 1942. Her investigations take her
around the world in an attempt to find out what happened to Sarah. As
Julia learns more about Sarah and the ramifications of the decisions she
made in her life, Julia also makes decisions that will influence her for
the rest of her own life.
It is these two lives juxtaposed that underpins the story
behind the plot of this film. Like a butterfly affect of the small
decisions we make in life rippling out to influence so many other
aspects of our life. This is very much a script driven film with a very
good plot and a number of sub plots. The sort of film that keeps you
there to the very end to see what happens. I really liked it.