True stories are typically hit or miss. However, when one is a true story about an individual who did something remarkable without wanting recognition there is at least promise for something engaging. James Hawes first film, One Life, focuses on Nicholas Winton (Anthony Hopkins. Johnny Flynn plays Winton in flashbacks). This film shows his heroic efforts to save as many children as possible during the Nazi occupation over Central Europe in World War II.
The film itself switches between 1988 and the late 1930s and documents Nicholas’ efforts to save the children. It also shows the difficulties that he encountered in his efforts. While the 1988 story focuses on Winton wanting to donate his diary of events, it ends up turning into a TV segment to recognize him as the hero he truly is. This part takes a heavy emotional turn that undoubtedly will leave the audience simply sobbing.
One Life boasts incredible performances from both Hopkins and Flynn. Somehow, through their performances, they help allow the world to discover who Sir Winton was. It also shows us the important work he did along with his friends and colleagues. The movie simply will break its audience and leave them simply inconsolable as it is the emotional roller coaster ride of the season. The performances and storytelling itself are top notch. What we have is an incredible first film for James Hawes and another incredible role for Anthony Hopkins while ensuring Johnny Flynn becomes an actor to watch down the road.