The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (Pyjamas) (Film) Review

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (Pyjamas)

Released: 7th November 2008
Director: Mark Herman
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Jack Scanlon, Amber Beattie, David Thewlis, Vera Farmiga
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 94

A touching and haunting family film that deals with the Holocaust in an arresting and unusual manner, and packs a brutal final punch of a twist.

Stephanie Zacharek ( said:
"Not everything in life, or in history, needs to be framed in terms of things children can relate to. I'm not talking about shielding kids; I'm just saying that some ideas are so horrific that they shouldn't be framed in childish terms."

Manohla Dargis (New York Times) said:
"See the Holocaust trivialized, glossed over, kitsched up, commercially exploited and hijacked for a tragedy about a Nazi family. Better yet and in all sincerity: don't."

Claudia Puig (USA Today) said:
"This beautifully rendered family film is told in a classic and old-fashioned style, in the best sense, providing poignant and powerful teachable moments."

Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) said:
"The premise doesn't excuse lapses in logic, but the power of the story and the performances is indisputable."

Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times) said:
"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is not only about Germany during the war, although the story it tells is heartbreaking in more than one way. It is about a value system that survives like a virus."

Tim Robey (Daily Telegraph) said:
"Moreover, the production lacks the personal touch that might allow this story to resonate as parable - it's too conventionally classy and Miramaxed, with its swooping, prestige-picture camerawork and lachrymose score by the dread James Horner."

Xan Brooks (Guardian [UK]) said:
"The acting is heartfelt, but the film carries a heaped cargo of conceits that has it wavering between the stark and the sentimental, the nuanced and the schematic."

Derek Elley (Variety) said:
"John Boyne's almost unfilmable novel about a young German kid's-eye view of the Holocaust gets a solid, ultimately powerful translation to the bigscreen in Brit helmer Mark Herman's The Boy in the Striped Pajamas."

James Christopher (Times [UK]) said:
"Despite moments of improbable whimsy, this is a hugely affecting film. Important, too. It engages with the complexity of the Holocaust in a language that can move children as profoundly as adults."

Of further interest...

Barnsley News from Barnsley Chronicle