Black Book (2006)

To fight the enemy, she must become one of them.

In the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II, a Jewish singer infiltrates the regional Gestapo headquarters for the Dutch resistance.

_**Carice van Houten plays a spy working for the Dutch Resistance during WW2**_
During the German occupation of Netherlands in WW2, a Jewess singer turned spy (Carice van Houten) gains access to the Gestapo headquarters to help the Dutch Resistance. Sebastian Koch plays a sympathetic German officer while Waldemar Kobus is on hand as the heavy. Thom Hoffman plays an agent for the Resistance.
“Black Book” (2006), aka “Zwartboek,” is a Euro WW2 film by Paul Verhoeven that balances drama, action, intrigue, romance and suspense. It’s reminiscent of contemporaneous flicks like “Inglourious Basterds” (2009) and “Valkyrie” (2008). It’s not great like the former, but it’s in the same league as the latter.
Despite its length, the story movies along swiftly, albeit awkwardly on a couple occasions. Carice shines in the challenging key role and Koch is likable. There was one scene that I didn’t find convincing, but it was forgivable. Unfortunately there’s a twist in the last act involving a character that doesn’t gel with the character’s previous actions.
The film runs 2 hours, 25 minutes, and was shot in the Netherlands with the bookend scenes filmed in Israel and studio work done in Brandenburg, Germany.
GRADE: B-

Studio Babelsberg, Motel Films, Motion Investment Group, Egoli Tossell Film, Nederlands Fonds voor de Film, uFilm, Le Tax Shelter du Gouvernement Fédéral de Belgique, Fu Works, Hector BV, Media Programme of the European Community, Euroimages Fund of the Council of Europe, VIP 4 Medienfonds, ContentFilm International, Clockwork Pictures, CoBo Fonds, FFA, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg by Paul Verhoeven, Gerard Soeteman.
Stars: Carice van Houten, Sebastian Koch, Thom Hoffman, Halina Reijn.

Genres: Drama, Thriller, War

Keywords: in love with enemy netherlands world war ii jew / jewish prosecution singer nazi occupation 1940s the hague dutch resistance

09/14/2006

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