Zelary (review)

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If it was an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film — as this one was last year — then it must have Nazis in it. Sure enough, here they are, swarming all over Prague, forcing cosmopolitan medical student/resistance member Eliska (Ana Geislerova) to run for the hills, literally. Hiding out in the titular Czech mountain town, where the 20th century never happened, the city girl becomes her own country cousin, Hana, and marries — strictly for the cover it provides — the simple, earthy Joza (Gyorgy Cserhalmi). Director Ondrej Trojan treats his material, which was inspired by a true story, directly and honestly and with a groundedness that eschews all sentimentality, but we’ve seen this story too many times before to find anything surprising or enlightening in it. Eliska’s stubborn urban snobbishness is worn down by the raw sincerity of the rugged rural folk, naturally, and she inevitably comes to genuinely love the man she married only out of convenience. And can you guess whether she thaws to the breathtaking beauty of sweeping alpine vistas? Of course you can.

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