Anne Frank: The Whole Story

Ben Kingsley’s performance puts me in mind of an actor who explained to me once how he had to prepare a rendering in one hour, the scheduled performer didn’t make it, the text was Chekhov’s “On the Harmfulness of Tobacco”, it could be read from the lectern and “acted” l’improviste, but the only real opportunity for a physical manifestation of the character was during his walk to and from the lectern (where he reads his lecture with ancillary remarks), consequently this was the aspect of the performance on which the actor had expended his single hour of rehearsal.

Kingsley as Otto Frank gets off the train after the war and walks home, he expresses precisely the joy of victory at first, and in the course of the walk this is modulated by a reflection of Paul Scofield’s walk in the same role (proclaiming the experience undergone), a deep and completely expressive revelation that can be measured in mere seconds, and (as in The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank) is filmed mainly in a long shot.