One Life (2024) – Movie Review [Monolith].  The touching story of Nikki Winton

Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, a Briton visited Czechoslovakia, where he found a humanitarian crisis on a scale he had never expected. He feels obligated to use his position to help them, and begins working at the grassroots level to at least get the kids out of there before it all blows up.

I have to admit I’ve never heard of Nicky Winton before. If this was mentioned anywhere during my studies, I either fell asleep during the lecture or did not read the textbooks carefully before the exams. But maybe I’m not that bad – maybe it’s just the fact that the story of his efforts was not widely known until forty years after the end of the war. The person in question did not brag about it to anyone – Even to his wife, who accidentally found his notes, memorabilia and memories from that period and decided to transfer them to television.

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The film presents these events closer to our time a little differently, giving the main character more driving force – I think this is to prevent him from becoming a side character in his own story. The important thing is that in the end it does not in any way destroy the ultimate meaning of these events, and this, I guarantee you, carries such an emotional charge that the stone may shed a tear or even a whole sea of ​​tears. .

One Life (2024) – Movie Review [Monolith]. Who saves one life…


We learn about the plot in two ways. On the one hand, we see a slow, sympathetic autumn in the life of Winton played by Anthony Hopkins. His daily life involves arguing for whatever he can for the charities he’s involved with, bringing home junk “that might come in handy” and spending time with his loving wife, Grete (Lena Olin). However, when she grows tired of the fact that their house has turned into a junkyard and asks her husband to do something about it, the topic of “the suitcase” and what to do with its contents comes up. We go back in time to 1939, where young Nicky (Johnny Flynn) says goodbye to his mother (Helena Bonham Carter) and sets off for Czechoslovakia. From now on, the film’s plot will jump between these two periods. Sometimes he shows the logic of an old man who wants to do something worthwhile with his memories, and sometimes he explains to the viewer exactly what these memories represent.

The story by Lucinda Cox and Nick Drake, based on the book by Barbara Winton, Nicky’s daughter, is not overly fast and urgent. As if the clock were still ticking, Hitler could start doing something at any moment that most people wouldn’t want to think about — and we, the viewers, even know the date and time — but for most of the movie, I don’t. I don’t feel like it’s coming anytime soon. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the action of the main characters in the film is mostly not typical of fantasy, amazing events, sneaking with the kids through dark streets where the Germans are waiting for them, fiery speeches on TV and getting it all done. On time at the last second. The real work of saving lives was much less than fireworks It involved standing in lines at the immigration office, collecting money, and talking to people who would have to hand their children over to foreign hands. Nothing spectacular, but the determination of all involved and the human emotion, sometimes unstoppable, sometimes completely powerless, makes the film an eager watch.

One Life (2024) – Movie Review [Monolith]. He saves the whole world

young man

Of course, it’s not as if Winton accomplished everything he did alone. I’ve already mentioned his mother, but the film also gives us glimpses of his friends, who acted heroically on the ground in Czechoslovakia, while Winton took care of everything in England. Trevor Chadwick (Alex Sharp), Doreen Wariner (Romola Garai), Hanna Hedukova (Juliana Mosca) are just a few of them. The names of some of them have been lost in the darkness of history, and the villains say it is completely unfair how much glory the main hero of our history got, even though these others were the ones who actually risked their lives when things started to get hot in the country. However, I think the film does a very good job of introducing the viewer to these characters, showing them as people, talking about their fears, dreams, and friendships. These are not the most developed figures in the history of the world, Because the story doesn’t focus on them either, but it’s not as if director James Hawes is trying to turn Winton into an orchestra.

Although making fun of dialogues in order to better represent the work done by the characters is actually a problem in the film. In particular, in the scenes with Hopkins, it is likely that some scenes will be cut completely and nothing will change, Because the dialogues it contains are so abrupt, so incomplete, that after the cut you start wondering if you missed something or what really happened. For many, this slightly clumsy construction of the plot that leads to the climax – beautifully recreated based on actual recordings (you can easily check them out on YouTube, but I honestly recommend finding out only after watching the film, so that the scene can leave the strongest possible impression) .

If the measure of a good film is the amount of impression it makes on us, and the number of emotions it arouses, then One Life has to be one of the best films I’ve ever seen. But in the end, emotions aren’t everything. Some scenes lack better connection, dialogues can’t lead anywhere, and side characters could use more characterization. It was far below the level of the objectively similar “Schindler’s List.” However, I think “One Life” is an important, beautifully shot and wonderfully acted story about the power of human perseverance in the face of evil. Make her happy! Sometimes it’s good to let yourself get carried away by emotions and leave the cinema after two hours feeling lighter and looking to the future with more hope.

The film will be released in theaters next Friday.

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