Based on an international best selling novel by Tatiana De Rosnay Sarah's Key is the moving account of a young Jewish girl (Sarah) whose family perishes following the infamous Vel' d'Hiv round up of Jews by the French police in July of 1942. The family is among the thousands of Jews wrenched from their homes and held in nightmarish conditions at a track and field stadium in Paris while awaiting ultimate transport to the death camp at Auschwitz.
Kristen Scott Thomas is Julia Jarmond, a French journalist doing a story for a magazine on the 60th anniversary of the round up. She also happens to be the wife of a man whose family owns the apartment that was once the final home of the Starzynski family: Sarah, her younger brother and parents. When her investigation leads her to Sarah's story she won't stop until she can find out what ultimately happened to her despite resistance from her husband and father-in-law who prefer not to open up this ugly chapter in history.
Despite ultimately devolving into a pedestrian Lifetime movie Sarah Key's does have some fine performances to recommend it. Cherubic 12 year old Melusine Mayance is impressive in her role as the young Sarah, the tragic little girl who makes a decision that will haunt her the rest of her life.
Kristen Scott Thomas brings the necessary gravitas to her role as Jarmond. While profoundly affected by the events of the past, she is determined to not allow them to have the last word.