Review by Dan Skip Allen
Films about or surrounding WWII can be educational and informative. In the case of I'll Find You, it delves into classical musicians growing up in the '30s and '40s just before the attacks on Poland. Stories about this era of history are always fascinating because of the time period. The arts were a lost discipline in those days because of the war. Many people died that contributed to the world in these ways, such as singers, musicians and actors, and so forth.
The film spans many years, so different actors and actresses play the characters throughout the years. A burgeoning opera singer, Robert Pulaski (Sebastion Croft, Leo Suter), becomes enamored with a young violinist (Ursula Parker, Adelaide Clemons). Due to the attack on Poland by the Germans, they have been separated and deemed dead and lost forever. Robert's love for Rachel compels him never to give up looking for her in this time of death and destruction. The film depicts his journey.
Martha Coolidge uses archival footage mixed with a back-and-forth storyline involving the two main characters' lives, intertwining it with their friends and relatives, which gives the story more depth and gravitas. The drama between the family members during this time of strife is real, and that in part comes from the script by David A. Ward, Bozenna Intrator, and others. The story is gripping and grounded in the reality of the situation these Polish people dealt with during that time.
These two leads of the film do an admirable job creating a lovelorn romance during this difficult time in history. Predominantly known for television work in Downton Abbey, Rectify, Parade's End, and the upcoming Vikings: Valhalla, the two are very believable in these roles. Their experience thus far in their careers has prepared them for these roles. They are a bit raw still but serviceable at times. More seasoned actors would have done a better job. The film has those more seasoned actors in other roles, though.
Stellan Skarsgard (Thor, Dune), Connie Nielsen (Gladiator, Wonder Woman), and Stephen Dorff (Blade, Somewhere) are all very proficient in their various roles as a professional opera singer, family member, and general in the Nazi regime. The cast is full of actors and actresses besides these more established actors and actresses that round out the film very nicely. It is a big cast that tries to represent the size and scope of the film that the filmmakers are going for.
One of the main focuses the film is going for is its music. The two main characters and some supporting characters are singers and musicians. The music in the movie, from classic operas to various musical numbers performed by orchestras, is quite beautiful and candy to the ear, if you like that sort of thing.
I'll Find You doesn't live up to the greatness of Schindler's List or The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, but it's a good film with good performances from the newer actors and seasoned actors alike. The production value is good, and it brings the audience into this world of WWII. The historical aspects are all on point. The music, which is the focal point at the film's heart, is delightful to listen to. The direction and script are competent and make for a good overall production. This film works on most levels — it's just not a perfect depiction of the period.
I'll Find You is now available on VOD.