(M) The Zookeeper’s Wife is a true story of the Holocaust about gentiles who risked their lives to help their Jewish compatriots. The film opens in the summer of 1939 as Antonina Zabinska (Jessica Chastain) cycles cheerfully through the zoo she owns with her husband. Before long Germany invades Poland and the zoo is badly damaged in bombing. Zabinska and her husband are permitted to continue to live in the zoo after they strike a deal with SS officer Lutz Heck (Daniel Bruhl) to raise pigs to feed the occupying Germans. On the whole the film never quite manages to create the required mood, even though it reminds us once again of the scale and horror of one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century.
A Dog’s Purpose Nutcracker: Story of Clara The Australian Ballet departs from the whimsical original to tell a story grounded in realworld events and the history of ballet in Australia. In Graeme Murphy’s radical retelling, Clara (Dimity Azoury) is an elderly Russian immigrant and former prima ballerina, dreaming with love and sadness of one feverishly hot Australian Christmas Eve in the late 1950s. Her story encompasses romance and loss, worldwide fame, war and revolution, and a journey to Australia that leads to her joining the nation’s earliest professional ballet company, sowing the seeds of the Australian Ballet. Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point. Tickets: $43-$218. Bookings: (02) 9250 7777 or online. Until May 20. Duration: 1hr 54min, with interval.