Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Violent but inspiring WWII story about Marcel Marceau.

Movie R 2020 120 minutes
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While it hits some familiar biopic notes in its first half, this WWII drama (with a fine performance by Eisenberg) eventually becomes an unabashed, heroic tale of good-vs.-evil and sacrifice. Written and directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz (Hands of Stone), Resistance offers a couple of typical "origin story" moments in the career of the master French mime, and soon puts Marcel's skills to good use in delightful scenes. In one, he entertains unruly children by pretending that he flutters away when they collectively blow on him, like a flame from a candle. In another, he shows them how to hide in a treetop by pretending to be a squirrel.

Before long, Resistance concentrates on scenes of planning, secret missions, and escapes. Jakubowicz captures many moments in long, graceful tracking shots, highlighting the details of places, whether they're underground hideouts or swanky hotels. This is a glossy, vigorous movie, alternately pulse-pounding and heartstring-tugging. Eisenberg is the movie's centerpiece, not only perfecting several examples of Marceau's poetic mime, but also using an entertainer's command both to win over the woman of his dreams and to fool the Nazi villain in a very tense sequence. Resistance has likely taken liberties with some facts, and it's slightly annoying that a French story has been told in English, but it's ultimately designed less to educate than to inspire.

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