• PG-13, 1 hr. 46 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Mark Herman
    In Theaters:
    Nov 7, 2008 Wide
    On DVD:
    Mar 10, 2009
  • Miramax

Critic Review - NewsBlaze

Why do the all the Nazis here have British accents? How confusing is that? An unintentionally-comical cross of Hogan's Heroes and Springtime for Hitler!

March 14, 2009 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze | Comments (17)
NewsBlaze

Comments

mary w.

mary wagner

Wow, I can't believe we saw the same film! I don't see how you could classify this as a 'holocaust comedy', even though it does have one or two light moments. I thought this was a well told story from the perspective of a German family. Was it hard to believe that the wife didn't know what was going on? Somewhat. Was it hard to believe an 8 year old could be clueless? At that time, with the absence of 24 hour news or internet, I could believe in his innocence. I thought the acting of the two boys was done incredibly well!

Mar 16 - 10:32 AM

Tom S.

Tom Scott

They have British accents because they are British actors or would you prefer they all tried their hands at an 'Allo allo' style, fake accent travesty. Confusing? If you're a moron, yes. This film is great and moving and not comical unintentionally or otherwise.

Mar 24 - 05:01 PM

Amber K.

Amber Kari

What would have been much more comical would have been a bunch of actors attempting German accents. Sure, it would have been more historically acurate, but the film would not have been taken seriously. I suppose it would've been more accurate had the film been in the German language as well... but no one would've been able to understand it, would they have? So, to say it is comical is ridiculous. The film was excellent in my opinion. It was an interesting and different look at the Holocaust that was thought provoking, memorable, and emotionally impacting.

Apr 10 - 05:58 PM

nobody

No Body

At least this wasn't like Valkyrie, where the accents of the 'Germans' switched horribly between American and British. This film at least had some continuity.
Personally, I think it made it more real. Gave me the idea that this kind of thing can happen anywhere. Under different circumstances, it could well have been Britain in the situation - it's really just about the power of propaganda.

Apr 27 - 05:31 AM

Wendy W.

Wendy W

Firstly, this movie isn't comical in any sense. It is a powerful and confronting story with well-acted roles.

That being said, I grudgingly agree with the fact that the British accent was rather noticeable and was slightly annoying. And they all had British accents, not just the Nazis.

Sep 13 - 07:09 AM

Will B.

Will Buddenhagen

What...British accents? Who even thought about that? How about thinking about the story itself...viewing that terrible time from an innocent point of view? Comical? What have you been smoking? Are you a resl movie reviewer? They must be hard up for one in your area if you are!!

Nov 14 - 03:18 PM

DMB M.

DMB Mom

I found it very distracting at first. It took me at least half the movie to successfully ignore it.

That many, if not most (hard to tell from IMDB.com) are British is a poor excuse. Vera Farmiga is from NJ, and had to fake a British accent to be an SS commandant's wife? Oy!

It's one thing if you want the film to be in English, doing away with the need for subtitles, but DO get the accents correct. If not for realism, then at least for graciousness. It's like saying the British were interchangeable with Nazi soldiers - or that the American public is so dumb, they won't notice, as long as the English doesn't sound 'merican.

See: "Inglourious Basterds" for how casting and accents are properly handled.

If not for this sloppy handling of nationality and accents, I would have considered it Oscar worthy.

Devastation factor is a 10, however. That's only a good thing if you like having your heart broken when watching films (and I do, for some strange reason.)

Mar 10 - 06:00 PM

Eric S.

Eric Song

This film is, in fact, a English production. Many actors are English, such as David Thewlis (who also played Remus Lupin in Harry Potter). It would not be appealing for two or so actors to speak without accents, and other actors to talk in British accents.

Apr 28 - 02:28 PM

Alan F.

Alan Fidler

One or two of your comments are completely ridiculous. The idea that an 8 year old boy would know about concentration camps and what went on inside them is completely preposterous.
And what is confusing about British actors using British accents? It was obvious to anybody with a reasonable IQ that the characters were German. Your review is dreadful.

May 9 - 08:18 AM

Dilshan Gunatilleke

Dilshan Gunatilleke

Interesting what we get for reviews these days. It is however sad that one gets confused so easily by something so trivial. Almost makes me ask the question, do you really know anything about cinema?

May 28 - 12:07 PM

Jack A.

Jack Alton

Not as many Germans before 1945 actually knew about the concentration camps since Himmler did a pretty good job of hushing everything up. When the Allies finally won the war, the German public were taken to the concentration camps where many were taken aback by the horror of what had happened. In addition, not that many people actually read Mein Kampf. It's like the Bible - lots of people have it, not that many people read the whole thing. I saw a history channel thing where one historian even said many of the Nazi elite thought it was trivial, that Hitler couldn't have possibly believed that he could achieve all that. Overall, in terms of historical accuracy, it was fine.
As for the British accents - it's a British production. Not all British people speak German. To have a bunch of British actors pretend to speak German could have been mildly insulting. You denouncing this film for that is like denouncing Huckleberry Finn for using the N word.

Aug 20 - 02:12 AM

Jack A.

Jack Alton

Not as many Germans before 1945 actually knew about the concentration camps since Himmler did a pretty good job of hushing everything up. When the Allies finally won the war, the German public were taken to the concentration camps where many were taken aback by the horror of what had happened. In addition, not that many people actually read Mein Kampf. It's like the Bible - lots of people have it, not that many people read the whole thing. I saw a history channel thing where one historian even said many of the Nazi elite thought it was trivial, that Hitler couldn't have possibly believed that he could achieve all that. Overall, in terms of historical accuracy, it was fine.
As for the British accents - it's a British production. Not all British people speak German. To have a bunch of British actors pretend to speak German could have been mildly insulting. You denouncing this film for that is like denouncing Huckleberry Finn for using the N word.

Aug 20 - 02:12 AM

Colin C.

Colin Chapman

The film sucked guys. This fella's right.

Jan 29 - 04:09 AM

Frankie R.

Frankie Rivera

Wow, this has to be the most unkind, insulting review I've ever read on RT. The holocaust was not comical. You should be ashamed of this review and banned from this site.

May 17 - 08:02 PM

Tom Scott

Tom Scott

Ha I am probably a bit late in the game here this being a 4 year old movie...

However, I completely see what Kam was saying, it makes no sense for the Germans to have quintessentially/aristocratic English accents. Either have German accents or use subtitles! It threw the story off (for me) from the beginning.

Guys this is a site to review 'films' not the story of the holocaust! Of course the Holocaust is not comical, the 'film' however does have its floors and when you consider the gravity of the subject it should have really been a winner all round.

I felt the film was very simplistic and lacked and real grittyness that a film grappling with this subject should have, essentially it was too glitzy and glam. Also obviously and admittedly the interaction between the kids had to be simple but did the whole film?? I felt as though I always new what was going to come next, and the setting in-which they met without any guards ever was unbelievable.

People seem to be so consumed about how the 'story' is so powerful and upsetting - Well yeah your right the 'story' of Nazi Germany and Auschwitz is, so is the novel this is based on but the 'FILM" which is what we are reviewing is simply OK, nothing more, nothing less

Mar 29 - 03:58 PM

Danny Costa

Danny Costa

I'm with Kam. I read the book first - which has it's own flaws with the German (or is it English) language. Those flaws completely ruined the book for me. Then the movie came out & instead of Germans, I see English aristocrats. The actual storyline is fine & quite moving, but the mixup between German & English makes it terribly unbelievable.

Apr 10 - 01:43 AM

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