In ‘One Life’, Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Flynn share emotional chemistry (Part-1).  

The former London stockbroker and self-proclaimed “ordinary man” Nicholas Winton died in 2015 at 106, having saved 669 Jewish children from the Nazis.

The public remained unaware of Winton's rescue of those youngsters from Czechoslovakia on the brink of World War II and their safety in Britain for most of his life. In 1988, the BBC show “That’s Life!” shocked him by introducing him to some of the people he had spared. Weeps and fuss were made over this unassuming man. Queen Elizabeth II knighted the “British Schindler” in 2003.

When you discovered Winton was a modest, quiet elderly man who kept to himself, you might have assumed Anthony Hopkins was starring in “One Life,” the simple but affecting new drama based on his life. Hopkins can imitate this character in his sleep.

However, he's best at that time when he finally lets down his shell and reveals his true feelings. Yes, this happens in “One Life,” and you'll likely cry with him. Hopkins' visage will stay with you long after the film's emotional payoff in the final act.

Holocaust films are important but difficult. Jonathan Glazer's “The Zone of Interest” won an Oscar on Sunday for its creative depiction of an Auschwitz commandant's family life outside the camp wall, demonstrating Nazi evil's banality.

One Life," directed by James Hawes, tells its story in flashback with explanatory speech, but it has a great ensemble and a story that needs to be told.

Hopkins is the main appeal, but Johnny Flynn, the superb actor-musician, must play Hopkins as a younger man. The directors shot Hopkins' parts first, so Flynn could establish the connecting thread between the two, which he accomplishes well. The two Wintons are separated by more than 50 years.

The war itself. Younger Winton lived in 1939, when the Nazis were moving across Europe but two years before committing the Final Solution, the wholesale extermination of European Jews. The elder Winton knew what happened to all those children he couldn't save, as shown in his eyes.

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