All the light we cannot see

All the light we cannot see the book
Mary the blind heroin
Werner
Hugh Laurie as uncle Etienne
Mark Ruffalo, playing Mary's father
Netflix

Saint-Malo, on the French Atlantic coast, August 1944. In these last days of the war, the city in undergoing terrible bombardments. The goal is to weaken the Germans before the arrival of American troops. In the midst of chaos and devastation, Mary, a young blind woman, persists in reading “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” on the radio. For her, it’s a way of keeping in touch with her missing father. For Werner, a young German soldier who listens to her, it’s a ray of light in the midst of despair. Both are unaware of the role that reading this novel plays in the resistance, led by Marie’s uncle Etienne. But when Werner realizes that Mary is in danger, he defies his orders to find her.

The series is a very classic adaptation, based on the the Pulitzer prize-winning bestseller. Its main assets are a fine cast (Hugh Laurie and Mark Ruffalo are brilliant !), meticulously reconstituted sets and lighting that captures the mood of the scenes, from despair to joy. The story depicts sadistic officers and heroic resistance fighters. But for once, it also focuses on an ordinary young soldier, torn between the need to survive (and therefore obey) and his conscience.

The first episode is a bit long, The alternation of flashbacks with the August 1944 period is a little bit tedious. But the following three episodes get better, althoug the end is rather predictable. All in all, it’s a gripping, moving story, the kind you won’t forget.

Mini-series, 4 episodes (1h), 2023, on Netflix

WITH : Aria Mia Loberti as Marie-Laure LeBlanc, Louis Hofmann as Werner Pfennig, Mark Ruffalo as Daniel LeBlanc, Hugh Laurie as √Čtienne LeBlanc, Marion Bailey as Madame Manec, Lars Eidinger as Reinhold von Rumpel, Ed Skrein as Rudolf Seidler

SAINT MALO today

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