La Rafle - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

La Rafle Reviews

Page 1 of 6
Super Reviewer
November 11, 2010
Dull, mediocre. A carnival of clichés.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ March 10, 2013
Yee-haw, y'all, we's gonna have ourselves a round-up! I can't help but think of that whenever I see this film's English translation, which is kind of sick, considering that we're talking about Nazi invasions and whatnot, something that probably wouldn't have happened if Hitler had proposed the Final Solution like I just did. Yeah, a genocide proposal is kind of hard to take seriously when you redneck it, but then again, hollering yourself nearly into a seizure about how blondes with blue eyes are the master race, whereas Jews power most everything that's wrong in the world doesn't sound too much more professional, so I guess Hitler would have gotten his point across eventually, and we must never forget that tragic fact, even if we can't really remember all of the films about it. Shoot, I joke, but this thing outsold "Shutter Island" on its first weekend in France, so clearly it's not as unnoticed as a certain American film festival at which it was screened, the Washington Jewish Film Festival. Man, you know that, like, 99% of the features in that festival are about Holocaust stuff, with 1% being overtly arty slow films that aren't about anything, seeing as how it would appear as though every film festival nowadays has to have at least one of those, probably because they couldn't make Cannes. Hey, I'm at least glad to see that no one is forgetting Jean Reno, who is awesome, so much so that I can see why he's not playing a man who is actually abducted by the Nazis in this film because it's hard to see him getting taken by Nazis without pulling some "Léon: The Professional", or rather, Quentin Tarantino moves on them (After the historical liberties that Tarantino pulled in a certain other Nazi film, my expectations for films of this type are left set on thin ice). Eh, I guess I'll take what I can get, just as long as it's a good film, something that this effort, well, isn't so much, because as decent as this film is, it's not without its issues.

There's certainly quite a bit of meat to this film's subject matter, but this Holocaust drama is relatively minimalist, and at two hours, it outstays its welcome, going padded out by too many subplots and too much material, until, after a while, repetition rears its ugly head into things, and would be more forgivable if all of this overblown story structure wasn't backed by atmospheric dryness. The film's isn't bone-dry to the point of being near-tedious, but the film does feel as though it's limping along, with just enough kick to sustain your investment, at least to a certian degree, but not necessarily to where your attention is fully sustained. If nothing else, the film is kind of bland, being no bore, but certainly much too slow, if not a touch dull at times, and with overdrawn story structuring giving you enough time to meditate upon the atmospheric dry spells, you're bound to find yourself disengaged a bit, with some dramatic issues not exactly helping engagement value. Due to overall underwhelmingness, this film's most genuine bits of emotional resonance are rarely all that effective, but they are here, though not all the time, because as dramatically intense as this film's worthy subject matter is, there come points in which ambition for dramatic resonance goes a bit too far and sparks sentimentality, which doesn't do too much damage to emotional effectiveness, but certainly does enough damage to subtelty to dilute the full genuineness and impact of certain points of dramatic punch. The emotional kick that this film tries so desperately to deliver hits its marks about more often than it misses, but make no mistake, there are dramatic misfires, thanks to subtlety issues and, of course, familiarity, something that plagues most every other aspect in this film, whose originality level doesn't necessarily have to be all that remarkable, but is much too low, as the film follows plenty of tropes as a Holocaust drama, and that restains a bit of the impact that you cannot afford to lose when aiming to deliver on the full effectiveness of a drama of this type. Conventionalism does a lot of damage to the final product, largely because it emphasizes natural shortcomings in this plot's relative thinness, which is further emphasized by pacing issues that leave the final product to meander along until, by the end, it slips short of rewarding and into underwhelmingness. Still, while the film can't exactly "round up" (Get it?) enough strengths to truly reward as much as it should, it is worth checking out, as it does indeed have its share of moments that break up a consistent degree of engagement value, complimented by inspired musicality.

Rather conventional, as well as often overemphasized as a major supplement to manipulativeness, this film's score - composed by Christian Henson - and classical soundtrack take a bit of getting used to as storytelling components, but once you find that you're able to go with this film's musicality, you'll find it to be a worthy compliment to atmospheric kick, which of course leaves you to further appreciate the sheer excellence in the music by its own right. From the efforts of such powerhouse legends as Frédéric Chopin and Louis Moreau Gottschalk (You even get a bit of Richard Wagner's fabulous prelude to "Das Rheingold" for all too brief of a moment), to the efforts of such modern classical maestros as Georges Delerue and Philip Glass, this film boasts plenty of lovely classical compositions, and after a while, you begin to feel that they do a lot to drive this film, which is driven enough by the very minimalist subject matter that it all too often betrays to some extent. This film's story is one that has been explored to death, as the final product leaves you to realize while it works a bit too hard to get emotional rises, and not hard enough to keep structural and atmospheric pacing smooth, but, needless to say, this subject matter is very worthy, with plenty of dramatic potential that isn't well-controlled as it should be, but is undeniable, especially when it is, in fact, done justice to by high spots within Roselyne Bosch's script, whose strengths are outweighed by the strengths within Bosch's direction. Sure, even as director, Bosch hits many issues, to the point of driving the film into underwhelmingness, yet for every storytelling misstep, Bosch delivers on just enough atmospheric reinforcement to keep you from drifting too far away, if not a dramatic note that is, in fact, genuine effective, not to where you're left in tears, but certainly to where you're moved, feeling the emotional weight that you should be feeling more of in the long run, but get just enough of to keep your investment reasonably stable. Speaking of Holocaust films, if I can loosely quote Liam Neeson as the late, great Oskar Schindler here, Bosch "could have done more", making too many mistakes with handling of this delicate subject matter, but nevertheless acceling just enough to keep you adequately attached to the final product, which is easily powered the most by its performances. Acting material isn't exactly torrential in its wealth, but just about every notable performance in the film has a moment to shine, whether it be by one of the young child talents (The Concetto twins were annoying, as you would expect from little kids, but I guess they were alright), or by one of the older, if not all-out seasoned talents, all of whom deliver on enough inspired emotion and conviction to sell you on the human depth of this film and carry the final product. Sure, it takes more than just strong performances to carry a drama of this type out of underwhelmingness, and considering that this film is just so flawed, the final product comes out falling short of what it could have been, but not so short that it's not powered just enough by inspiration in direction, writing and acting to engage more often than not.

In the end, a somewhat overblown and often repetitious story structure, backed by dull spells in atmosphere, dilute engagement value, while manipulative moments in emotional punch and consistent conventionalism dilute dramatic effectiveness enough for the final product to fall as unfortunately underwhelming, but not to where it's not still saved by the fine classical soundtrack and worthwhile subject matter - brought to life by inspired moments in Roselyne Bosch's direction, and carried by a myriad of compelling performances - to make "The Round Up" or "La Rafle" (Sounds like "raffle"; you don't want to enter this lottery, folks) a decent Holocaust drama that has a fair degree of moments, even though it could have struck deeper.

2.5/5 - Fair
PantaOz
Super Reviewer
March 24, 2012
A French war drama directed by Roselyne Bosch was based on the true story of a young Jewish boy and his family and friends who were victims the mass arrest of Jews by French police who were Nazi accomplices in Paris in July 1942. Many people seeing this film were enraged and saddened because this event has left a huge scar on the collective psyche of the French - on the 75th anniversary the French presidents declared: "There are in the life of a nation times that wound the memory and the idea one has of one's country. It is difficult to talk about such times... That day, France, the cradle of Enlightenment and human rights, a safe haven for the oppressed, committed an unforgivable sin. Breaking its word, it delivered those it should protect to their executioners." Sadly, looking what France is doing in Libya, Afghanistan and around the world it seems there were no lessons learned!

According to the elder Weiseman (who is seen in the film) Bosch has presented the story faithfully and accurately - and just how it felt. That is perhaps the most valuable praise she'll get for this drama. Bosch first decided to make a film of the events surrounding the rafle du Vel' d'Hiv because she felt sympathy with the victims - and that is nice to hear. My problem with the movie is the feel of detachment of the director with the story! And it should be completely different - her husband's family is Jewish and lived in Montmartre near where the Weismann family lived, her father had been detained in one of Francisco Franco's internment camps, so she felt a connection with the subject matter... but watching the movie everything seemed too "dry" for my taste! I appreciate the fact that Bosch decided to portray only real life characters in the film but for me there was too much focus on the social context of life for the Jewish family (and others) before the fateful day of July 16, 1942... The morally bankrupt Germans and Marshal Petain's collaborating French authorities are not different from today's governments , starting from the illegalities and amorality and up to the absence of any real transparency of the ruling bureaucracy but somehow they are presented like something out of this world! Turn around and observe...

This is not a drama to "like" or not, according to most critics, it's a film to make us understand; but I don't think it does it well.
Super Reviewer
January 10, 2013
A beautifully acted and sensitively handled account of a horrific and shameful (and heroic) period in 1940s France.
June 29, 2014
As a rabbi and teacher of "Jews on Screen," I have seen more than my share of Holocaust films.
"La Rafle" was truly the straw which broke this cinemaphile's back. There is just so much horrific realistic cenema one can take.
The realism, the performances, the true story of the French collaboration with the Nazis in 1942 was more than either of us could endure.
Elements of the film are deriviative of other great Holocaust films and documentaries. I doubt that I shall be adding any more Holocaust films to my queue any longer. Enough is enough. I do hope that the current generation and future generations will watch this film and remember this dreadful chapter in our world's history.
November 30, 2012
5 STARS: This is the 2nd film that I have seen that deals with the Naziâ(TM)s rounding up of the Jews that were in Paris in 1942. The other was âSarahâ(TM)s Keyâ?. While that movie was also excellent, I would say that this one is better. There are more characters involved in this, and oh my God, this is a tearjerker near the end! I could actually hear people crying in the theater near the end of this film, it is so emotionally and beautifully well done. Even though the subject is dark, the scenery is colorful and he cinematography is excellent. I would recommend this if the subject is not to deep for you to handle, itâ(TM)s well worth the ride.
December 24, 2011
In July 1942 French police arrested and detained 13,000 Parisian Jews for the Nazis. 25 of them survived the war.

A very well made film about one of the many atrocities committed during WWII. Assuredly tells the stories of a number of actual detainees plus some composite characters (all well realized portrayals) without overburdening the audience by trying to tell too many stories. The film does a great job of showing the gradual deterioration of trust and hope in increasingly desperate lives.
½ April 7, 2015
Bleak and interesting. It lacked something.
October 20, 2014
A competent, stylish and thought-provoking account of the German occupation of Paris in 1942 by writer/director Rose Bosch, "La rafle" depicts the rounding up of Jews that was carried out in the city. All of the characters are based on actual people and the events are documented, but the film rises above a dramatized documentary, drawing effect from cinematography as well as an intimate connection to all the various characters from both sides of the fence.

"La rafle" is emotional but not sentimental, even if the direction and music go a bit overboard every now and then. It effectively portrays the final days of people who never expected their normal lives to end in genocide, within a very short period of time. It also manages to explore the restrained contempt felt by Parisians toward Jews as something recognizable and universal; a generalization-based scapegoating stemming from the human impulse to simplify that frequently assists the most horrific consequences somewhere in the world.

The French government acknowledged this part of the Holocaust as late as 1995. The reached objective of Bosch and her extensive research with historian Serge Klarsfeld seems to be in making the horrible and shameful event come alive, to finally become real for every viewer.
October 7, 2010
Watch Sarah's Key after this one.
June 29, 2014
As a rabbi and teacher of "Jews on Screen," I have seen more than my share of Holocaust films.
"La Rafle" was truly the straw which broke this cinemaphile's back. There is just so much horrific realistic cenema one can take.
The realism, the performances, the true story of the French collaboration with the Nazis in 1942 was more than either of us could endure.
Elements of the film are deriviative of other great Holocaust films and documentaries. I doubt that I shall be adding any more Holocaust films to my queue any longer. Enough is enough. I do hope that the current generation and future generations will watch this film and remember this dreadful chapter in our world's history.
May 24, 2013
Spectacular account. The best I've seen ever!!
½ October 3, 2013
Deeply moving film that could only fail to touch those whose soul is dead. What enables us to empathize even more is that this film is told from the point of view of several families, one nurse who is not Jewish and most of all from the POV of the children of these families. Films such as this one should remind us that horrors happening to children in war are not just a WWII phenomenon, but that the fate of child soldiers today is even more psychologically damaging than death in the gas chambers.
August 5, 2013
A Nazi Holocaust film without actually showing the usual gore... bt somehow seemed too melodramatic for my taste... bt a good watch nonetheless ...
March 31, 2013
The sad movie. Even more sadder when this was based on a true event..
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ March 10, 2013
Yee-haw, y'all, we's gonna have ourselves a round-up! I can't help but think of that whenever I see this film's English translation, which is kind of sick, considering that we're talking about Nazi invasions and whatnot, something that probably wouldn't have happened if Hitler had proposed the Final Solution like I just did. Yeah, a genocide proposal is kind of hard to take seriously when you redneck it, but then again, hollering yourself nearly into a seizure about how blondes with blue eyes are the master race, whereas Jews power most everything that's wrong in the world doesn't sound too much more professional, so I guess Hitler would have gotten his point across eventually, and we must never forget that tragic fact, even if we can't really remember all of the films about it. Shoot, I joke, but this thing outsold "Shutter Island" on its first weekend in France, so clearly it's not as unnoticed as a certain American film festival at which it was screened, the Washington Jewish Film Festival. Man, you know that, like, 99% of the features in that festival are about Holocaust stuff, with 1% being overtly arty slow films that aren't about anything, seeing as how it would appear as though every film festival nowadays has to have at least one of those, probably because they couldn't make Cannes. Hey, I'm at least glad to see that no one is forgetting Jean Reno, who is awesome, so much so that I can see why he's not playing a man who is actually abducted by the Nazis in this film because it's hard to see him getting taken by Nazis without pulling some "Léon: The Professional", or rather, Quentin Tarantino moves on them (After the historical liberties that Tarantino pulled in a certain other Nazi film, my expectations for films of this type are left set on thin ice). Eh, I guess I'll take what I can get, just as long as it's a good film, something that this effort, well, isn't so much, because as decent as this film is, it's not without its issues.

There's certainly quite a bit of meat to this film's subject matter, but this Holocaust drama is relatively minimalist, and at two hours, it outstays its welcome, going padded out by too many subplots and too much material, until, after a while, repetition rears its ugly head into things, and would be more forgivable if all of this overblown story structure wasn't backed by atmospheric dryness. The film's isn't bone-dry to the point of being near-tedious, but the film does feel as though it's limping along, with just enough kick to sustain your investment, at least to a certian degree, but not necessarily to where your attention is fully sustained. If nothing else, the film is kind of bland, being no bore, but certainly much too slow, if not a touch dull at times, and with overdrawn story structuring giving you enough time to meditate upon the atmospheric dry spells, you're bound to find yourself disengaged a bit, with some dramatic issues not exactly helping engagement value. Due to overall underwhelmingness, this film's most genuine bits of emotional resonance are rarely all that effective, but they are here, though not all the time, because as dramatically intense as this film's worthy subject matter is, there come points in which ambition for dramatic resonance goes a bit too far and sparks sentimentality, which doesn't do too much damage to emotional effectiveness, but certainly does enough damage to subtelty to dilute the full genuineness and impact of certain points of dramatic punch. The emotional kick that this film tries so desperately to deliver hits its marks about more often than it misses, but make no mistake, there are dramatic misfires, thanks to subtlety issues and, of course, familiarity, something that plagues most every other aspect in this film, whose originality level doesn't necessarily have to be all that remarkable, but is much too low, as the film follows plenty of tropes as a Holocaust drama, and that restains a bit of the impact that you cannot afford to lose when aiming to deliver on the full effectiveness of a drama of this type. Conventionalism does a lot of damage to the final product, largely because it emphasizes natural shortcomings in this plot's relative thinness, which is further emphasized by pacing issues that leave the final product to meander along until, by the end, it slips short of rewarding and into underwhelmingness. Still, while the film can't exactly "round up" (Get it?) enough strengths to truly reward as much as it should, it is worth checking out, as it does indeed have its share of moments that break up a consistent degree of engagement value, complimented by inspired musicality.

Rather conventional, as well as often overemphasized as a major supplement to manipulativeness, this film's score - composed by Christian Henson - and classical soundtrack take a bit of getting used to as storytelling components, but once you find that you're able to go with this film's musicality, you'll find it to be a worthy compliment to atmospheric kick, which of course leaves you to further appreciate the sheer excellence in the music by its own right. From the efforts of such powerhouse legends as Frédéric Chopin and Louis Moreau Gottschalk (You even get a bit of Richard Wagner's fabulous prelude to "Das Rheingold" for all too brief of a moment), to the efforts of such modern classical maestros as Georges Delerue and Philip Glass, this film boasts plenty of lovely classical compositions, and after a while, you begin to feel that they do a lot to drive this film, which is driven enough by the very minimalist subject matter that it all too often betrays to some extent. This film's story is one that has been explored to death, as the final product leaves you to realize while it works a bit too hard to get emotional rises, and not hard enough to keep structural and atmospheric pacing smooth, but, needless to say, this subject matter is very worthy, with plenty of dramatic potential that isn't well-controlled as it should be, but is undeniable, especially when it is, in fact, done justice to by high spots within Roselyne Bosch's script, whose strengths are outweighed by the strengths within Bosch's direction. Sure, even as director, Bosch hits many issues, to the point of driving the film into underwhelmingness, yet for every storytelling misstep, Bosch delivers on just enough atmospheric reinforcement to keep you from drifting too far away, if not a dramatic note that is, in fact, genuine effective, not to where you're left in tears, but certainly to where you're moved, feeling the emotional weight that you should be feeling more of in the long run, but get just enough of to keep your investment reasonably stable. Speaking of Holocaust films, if I can loosely quote Liam Neeson as the late, great Oskar Schindler here, Bosch "could have done more", making too many mistakes with handling of this delicate subject matter, but nevertheless acceling just enough to keep you adequately attached to the final product, which is easily powered the most by its performances. Acting material isn't exactly torrential in its wealth, but just about every notable performance in the film has a moment to shine, whether it be by one of the young child talents (The Concetto twins were annoying, as you would expect from little kids, but I guess they were alright), or by one of the older, if not all-out seasoned talents, all of whom deliver on enough inspired emotion and conviction to sell you on the human depth of this film and carry the final product. Sure, it takes more than just strong performances to carry a drama of this type out of underwhelmingness, and considering that this film is just so flawed, the final product comes out falling short of what it could have been, but not so short that it's not powered just enough by inspiration in direction, writing and acting to engage more often than not.

In the end, a somewhat overblown and often repetitious story structure, backed by dull spells in atmosphere, dilute engagement value, while manipulative moments in emotional punch and consistent conventionalism dilute dramatic effectiveness enough for the final product to fall as unfortunately underwhelming, but not to where it's not still saved by the fine classical soundtrack and worthwhile subject matter - brought to life by inspired moments in Roselyne Bosch's direction, and carried by a myriad of compelling performances - to make "The Round Up" or "La Rafle" (Sounds like "raffle"; you don't want to enter this lottery, folks) a decent Holocaust drama that has a fair degree of moments, even though it could have struck deeper.

2.5/5 - Fair
½ March 3, 2013
Sujet important d'un moment dégueulasse de l'histoire humaine..... Par contre, à mon avis, le rendu cinématographique de cette rafle ne fonctionne pas. La direction d'acteurs, le montage.... Trop de détails soulignés maladroitement finissent par ternir la crédibilité du film.
February 23, 2013
France's darkest moment in history...1940 13,000 Women,men,children,elderly jews rounded up 4 the pleasure of Hitler n detained in a disused sports stadium with no food water or sanitation...then shipped off to the death camps...a really touching true story not quite as good as Schindlers list but on the same lines....I don't use the word often but Hitler really was a cunt !! :(
Super Reviewer
January 10, 2013
A beautifully acted and sensitively handled account of a horrific and shameful (and heroic) period in 1940s France.
January 1, 2013
would have been better with a sad ending.
Page 1 of 6