One Life

“One Life,” a World War II drama directed by James Hawes, vividly chronicles the heroic efforts to save 669 Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. The narrative weaves between two periods: the late 1930s and the 1980s, offering a compelling portrait of Nicholas Winton.

In the 1930s timeline, Johnny Flynn delivers a vibrant performance as the young Winton, a British stockbroker who becomes deeply involved in the harrowing logistics of the rescue mission. Sir Anthony Hopkins portrays the older Winton in the 1980s, reflecting on his monumental efforts with a mix of pride and lingering sorrow.

The film has garnered acclaim for its strong performances. Critics praise Hopkins for his nuanced and heartfelt interpretation of an elder Winton, haunted by the children he couldn’t save. Flynn’s dynamic and fervent portrayal of the younger Winton adds a sense of urgency and determination to the story, creating a powerful counterpoint to Hopkins’ more contemplative role.

There has been well deserved praise for the acting through the movie, from Hopkins and Flynn through to the often-underrated Helena Bonham-Carter. However, there has been comment through other reviews that the direction has not fully examined the emotional depth of the subject matter, in terms of the psychological aftermath of Winton`s actions and for the children he rescued.

Overall, “One Life” stands as a poignant homage to an often-overlooked hero, shining a light on Winton’s remarkable humanitarian work. Although the film’s storytelling remains traditional, it successfully underscores the extraordinary impact of Winton’s life-saving efforts.