Every " WW2 Occupied France" movie should have at least one sequence where a long Line of local refugees are strafed by the evil Luftwaffe as they stagger through the French Countryside with their belongings pilled up in handcarts and prams.
It's an iconic and much copied scene.
" Suite Francaise" begins with such a sequence where the fierce Madame Angelier ( Kristen Scott Thomas) and her daughter in law Lucile ( Michellle Williams) who are in the middle of collecting rent from their tenant farmers get caught up in bombing of Parisian refugees and at first the film looked promising as the camera swoops and follows the terrified French peasants as they flee into the golden wheat on the sides of the road.
But then we left the action and entered the somewhat hackneyed story of Lucile's love affair with nice Nazi Bruno ( Matthias Schoenaerts) as the German occupy the small town of Bussy. Old scores are settled as some of the occupied French tittle-tattle on each other in a bid to survive and Lucile has to finally choose which side she is ultimately on as resistance looms it's head as the German's take charge.
Williams looks like an angel and is ok, if not a little bland as Lucile. Schoenaerts is more impressive as the torn and cultured Bruno, but the whole film is stolen by Scott Thomas who with her icy stare and powdered white face, is more frightening than any Wartime Hun psychopath , in her role of a cynical and embittered mother, widow and patriot.
She can fight my corner anytime!