I'd seen the previews for this one months before it was released on DVD. Sadly, I don't remember ever seeing a release in the major theatres & this would have been great to see on the big screen. Hands down, this is quite possibly the best film Paul Verhoeven has ever made. Make no mistake, Verhoeven really gets serious this time around & finally makes a film which is deserving of every award that could be bestowed on a motion picture.
For some strange reason, I've always gravitated to films about the Holocaust & this one is no exception. Whether they were mere foreign films or blockbusters like the Speilberg vehicle Schindler's List, I've seen nearly all of them from A-Z. Black Book reminds me more of Europa Europa or Polanski's The Pianist rather than Schindler's List however.
I really enjoyed this film for many reasons & it's almost impossible to submit all of them here. The first thing that comes to mind is the actress. Where is on earth did Verhoeven find Carice Van Houten? She is absolutely the most beautiful, charming woman I've seen in ages as far as motion pictures go. She's overly talented, undoubtedly sexy, & her smile just makes me glow. Hmmm, no wonder I watched this one twice during the first week of purchase.
Verhoeven really understands the actors/actresses he works with. I think he has really grown as a director over the years & he knows how to oversee a grand epic such as Black Book.
There is enough drama & suspense here to fill about ten of Hollywood's best films & you can never be sure from moment to the next what to expect. That's another great reason to keep your eyes peeled here. As a viewer, you are hooked from the opening scene to the heartwarming closure.
In the beginning, we see beautiful Van Houten running from the Germans in the initial stages of the Holocaust. Whether it means working as a servant in a Protestant family home or joining the resistance, she will do whatever it takes to stay alive & we are behind her every step of the way. Her biggest assignment is to infiltrate the gestapo & seduce the leader which she does with grace & refinement. What may even shock viewers is how she even falls for what could be perceived as a monstrous being.
Why this one didn't have a larger theatrical release or wasn't showered with Oscars is beyond me. Black Book was easily another favorite of mine which was sadly overlooked in 2006-20007. I highly recommend this one to fans of historical films & of course those interested in the Holocaust.