Nazi Baddies, Humanitarian Shelter, Polish Zoo, etc.

Speaking as a fan of Niki Caro’s Whale Rider and McFarland, U.S.A., I’m wondering why there’s zero buzz on The Zookeeper’s Wife (Focus Features, 3.31). I’m hearing nothing, feeling nothing — not even after the 3.8 premiere in Warsaw or a 3.12 Cinequest Film Festival showing. I’ll be attending the 3.27 premiere at the Arclight. Shot in Prague in late ’15 and based on the book by Diane Workman, pic costars Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh, Daniel Bruhl and an assortment of exotic animals. Based on a true story about the hiding of Jews from Nazis by Warsaw zookeepers Jan and Antonina Żabinski.

  • Zach

    We Bought A Jew?

    • Dave Billet

      Oh Man, that’s the best comment I read this week.

    • Not quite but pretty good.

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  • Eric

    Looks boring AF, that’s why.

    Put this in the library of other boring Holocaust movies like Boy in the Striped Pajamas and Sophie Scholl,

    • Randy W

      Definitely belongs in that genre. What about “The Book Thief”? I never saw it, but the first time I saw the trailer I was convinced that it was some Saturday Night Live-style parody of the paint-by-numbers, oscar bait holocaust movie.

  • Grampappy Amos

    Because we’ve all seen that movie already.

  • Bobby Peru

    Gotta hand it to Chastain for consistently seeking out offbeat and obscure stuff that doesn’t exactly career path her, like working with Liv Ullman on MISS JULIE or taking a gamble on MISS SLOANE, which wasn’t a sure thing and she carried on her back anyway. She takes her supporting roles in box office movies as needed and then seeks out the offbeat stuff. She blew right up with two Oscar nods and a slew of higher profile performances (and should have won the Oscar for ZERO DARK THIRTY), but these days doesn’t seem that concerned with the A-list as much as picking stuff she likes.

  • Jordan Ruimy

    Because it’s not a good movie. There was a press screening here two weeks ago, I noticed a few film critics snoozing during the film. It’s a by the books, tepid melodrama with no original thought whatsoever. I’m actually surprised Chastain signed on to be in this movie.

    • I disagree. It’s not a great movie, but it’s far from bad.

      Additionally, Chastain “signed on” to be in it because she produced it. In fact, she talked about it to Variety recently…

      (http://variety.com/2016/film/news/jessica-chastain-the-zookeepers-wife-trailer-1201920841/)

      “Chastain, who commits her time off-screen to gender equality in the industry, recently told Variety the importance of working with female directors and producers, such as ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’ director Niki Caro.

      ‘What am I contributing to the world? How am I helping: am I asking questions about how our society runs and who we value and who we listen to and who we ignore?’ Chastain asked herself. ‘I’ve always worked with female directors. I’m looking to work with a female filmmaker every year. That’s my goal. They’re not given the same opportunities so if I have any influence in choosing a film or a script or finding a director I’m absolutely going to make a difference.'”

  • The day after I saw it at Cinequest, I got a polite email saying reviews were embargoed until Monday 3.20.