The Zookeeper’s Wife

During the time of WWII and the German occupation of Poland, the Warsaw Zookeeper Jan (Johan Heldenbergh) and his wife Antonina (Jessica Chastain) put themselves in great danger to save innocent and imprisoned Jews as the Holocaust gained momentum. This is their story. Directed by Niki Caro, based on the true story and book by Diane Ackerman, this important story is unfortunately revealed in a predictable and calculated fashion that falls short of the emotional finish line without really stretching any of its players. But, given the material they have to work with, Chastain and villain Daniel Bruhl, your archetypal Nazi soldier, do manage to create enough chemistry that one can’t entirely throw the baby out with the bathwater. Checking off the rest of the requisite boxes for a cinematic pass you’ve got the makings for a matinee or a rental, but really, it’s the latter. The Zookeeper’s Wife is rated PG-13.