Charlotte Gray, directed by Gillian Armstrong, is faithful to Sabastian Faulks’ prize-winning book on which it’s based. It sharpens the roles of the key players in the German occupation of France during World War II.

The book described the Vichy government collaboration with the occupying Nazi army.

A central figure in the book and film is Julian, the lead anti-Nazi fighter and a Communist. His key role in the resistance struggle in this small southern French town is something rarely acknowledged in WW II movies.

Faulks’ historical novel described the hateful and backward role of collaboration and the movie succeeds in dramatically driving the point home.

Cate Blanchett turns in an excellent performance. In fact, it’s been reported that Faulk’s wrote the book with her in mind. Billy Crudup (Almost Famous) is equally fine as Julian.

This is a must movie for its entertainment value, but also for its historical value.

– Eric Green