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All The Light We Cannot See (2023)

Cinebuffs Recommends

Honestly, I had to do a double-take when I saw who I thought was Felix Kammerer, wondering if it was just 'All's Quiet on the Western Front' vibes that this truly excellent adaptation was giving off.

Based on the novel of the same name from Anthony Doerr (the ending is different, all you bookworms out there, so still definitely worth a viewing), this is sublime stuff from Netflix, better even than the adaptation previously mentioned which starred Kammerer last year.

Concentrating mainly on the stories of a reluctant young German soldier (Werner) with a passion for radio and a young, blind French girl (Marie) who has her own good reasons for being skilled in the art of broadcasting, these two narratives finally intersect as they each try to make their way through the last year of the Second World War in the previously leafy (then Nazi occupied) town of Saint Malo, west of Paris, just north of Rennes.

These two main players are more than ably supported by Mark Ruffalo as Marie's father and Hugh Lawrie as Uncle Etienne, amongst a host of other of members of the French Resistance.

The duration is just right, delivered in four hour-long episodes, giving time to fully round out the characters, with each of the main players getting their own detailed backstory. It is not as brutal as the aforementioned Oscar darling from last year mentioned above, but if you're thinking 'Allo, Allo', then you couldn't be more wrong.

Beautifully written and delivered with such grace, it is nothing if not partisan of course, where the Nazis are little more than narcissistic sadists, but deliciously entertaining nonetheless in their ruthlessness and cruelty. Truly, an unlikely love story/treasure hunt if there ever was one, ultimately. No history degrees are required for the outcome, but this is less about a horrible, pointless war (aren't they all, really) but the story of the meeting of two souls from polarised lives who survive horror, pain and tragedy to realise their dreams.

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