A young Scottish woman (Cate Blanchett) is recruited as a spy to liaise with the French resistance but once she's parachuted into wartime France she pursues her own agenda: to find an RAF pilot with whom she has fallen in love.


 

4
Pitched slightly beyond realism but with an emotional sweep that is moving by the film\'s end.

Cate Blanchett plays Charlotte Gray, a young woman in wartime Britain who falls in love with a pilot Peter Gregory, Rupert Penry-Jones, who goes missing, presumed dead. Because of her ability with French she\'s offered recruitment by a British intelligence officer. Seeing this as an opportunity to search for Peter she parachutes into Vichy France where her assignment is to liaise with the Resistance. Blending in as a local she stays on a farm owned by Levade, Michael Gambon whose son Julien, Billy Crudup, is a leader of the local Resistance group. Charlotte becomes fiercely protective of two young Jewish boys who secretly come to stay on the farm after their parents have been taken away by the Nazis. Armstrong has pitched the film just slightly beyond realism. But the emotional sweep of the narrative is so powerful that I found myself inordinately upset at the movie\'s end. The film\'s climax comes as a moment of no great or significant heroism, it\'s just a small gesture of Charlotte\'s, an act of compassion that I found tremendously moving. Armstrong\'s images are beautiful, her sense of design is always a strength in her films. Her casting choice is one of those international blends that worked for me, Blanchett is glowing, Crudup intense and Gambon crusty. Readers of Faulk\'s work will notice certain significant changes in the story but hopefully they won\'t be disappointed.