Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Ron Cook and Michael Gambon
Director: Gillian Armstrong
Running Time: 121 mins
1943, after finding
out the man she loves is missing in action somewhere in southern France,
Charlotte Gray (Blanchett) joins the Special Operations Executive, volunteering
to go to France for her first assignment as an undercover operative. What
was supposed to be a simple mission soon turns into something that could
affect the lives of the local resistance and most of all it's leader Julien
(Crudup). This leaves Charlotte torn between her duty to the mission and
her personal agenda of find her missing lover.
The best selling
novel by Sebastian Faulks comes to the big screen. This is an insight into
occupied France and how it affected the people and the country as a whole.
The Nazi's search for the Jews and the collaborators who help them find
them forms the backbone to the story but this is a strong tale highlighting
the extremely brave British female operatives and how they helped the French
What better person
than Cate Blanchett is bring Charlotte Gray to life. She is an actress that
is always extremely watchable and she brings a certain intelligence and
believability to the character. Good support comes in the performances of
Billy Crudup, who continues to show the promise he portrayed in Almost Famous,
and Michael Gambon, who always brings an extra bit of class to a movie.
What the movie
lacks however is a real punch to the story. The film drags for the first
three quarters of an hour but it's main problem is that you never really
feel that Charlotte would be brave enough to risk everything for a man she
only knew for less than a month. It does come into it's own in the last
hour however, as Charlotte tries to make amends for the attention her presence
in the area has caused.
This is still a
very watchable story and provides a good insight into the brave women who
contributed so much in the Second World War.
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