Rather, a sobering adap of John Boyne’s Holocaust novel, told from a child’s painfully innocent perspective.
Eight-year-old Bruno (Asa Butterfield) is the son of a Nazi commandant (David Thewlis), who moves his family to Auschwitz. The lad guilelessly befriends the stripy-pyjama-ed Shmuel (Jack Scanlon) – a Polish boy unable to play outside his wire-fenced ‘home’...
Bouncing back from the career low of Hope Springs, Brit writer/director Mark Herman honours the lean punch of Boynes’ deceptively simple prose. Horrors are implied, not exploited; melodrama reined in. There are plausibility issues – no German accents; no guards noticing the kids’ frequent chats – but Herman builds a tightening sense of dread that finds no release in the final, tragic twist. Expect a sleepless night.