THE TOP TEN: #6: Sophie Scholl- The Final Days
Before watching Sophie Scholl- The Final Days (a rather trite title, but don't let it put you off), I had never heard of Sophie Scholl. Now, apart from demonstrating my extremely poor historical knowledge, this meant that I entered the film fresh, not really knowing what was going to transpire; and thus for me was as much an eye-opener as a portrait of a historical event. Naturally, though, when a film is about someone rebelling against the Nazis, it's hardly going to be uplifting, but Sophie Scholl, through a strong, grounded script and superb work from its actors, mines its story for as much as inspiration as it can, and despite the predictably saddening ending, Sophie Scholl works very well as a fascinating picture of the power of one person. It helps, of course, that the actress playing the titular character is so good; and indeed, Julia Jentsch gives a wrenching, empathic performance that shapes the film around her, totally controlling Sophie's every act and emotion, lucid and measured all at once. You might think these commendations should be in the Best Actress category of these awards, and indeed, there's more where that came from, but Sophie Scholl is the very epitome of a film that would not exist without one specific person, and Miss Jentsch is it.