The Pitch: It’s 1940 in Marseilles, and whereas America is doing its finest to remain impartial as Germany marches throughout Europe, there are Individuals (in addition to others) attempting to make just a little little bit of a distinction within the French port metropolis.
Particularly, there’s belief fund child Mary Jayne (Gillian Jacobs), who’s utilizing her household’s wealth to assist fund journalist Varian Fry (Cory Michael Smith)’s Emergency Rescue Committee, a gaggle devoted to getting refugees out of Europe, particularly artists, thinkers, and anybody else with whom Hitler has a particular beef. It’s harmful work, and arguably treasonable, however that doesn’t cease these scraping by and attempting to remain free from seizing what happiness they’ll…
The Germans Have Outlawed Miracles: Given its setting in time and house, to not point out the frequent dialogue of visas and papers, Transatlantic attracts up fast comparisons to Casablanca, one of the greatest films ever made — and whereas the brand new Netflix drama shouldn’t be anointed for that degree of sainthood at this level, these comparisons are favorable ones. For what the 2 initiatives have in frequent, past the plain, is wit, and the intelligence to do not forget that even when humanity resides via extremely troublesome instances, we stay people, with our personal passions, fears, and issues.
The seven-episode restricted collection is co-created by Anna Winger, who could be most acquainted to American audiences because the creator of Netflix’s Emmy-winning restricted collection Unorthodox, however can also be behind the critically acclaimed Deutschland collection. (That is necessary data for no less than three folks I do know personally: Hello Jay, Bronwen, and Dad!) Deutschland 83/86/89 took a equally microcosmic take a look at life throughout historic moments (in that collection’ case, the Chilly Battle and Iron Curtain), an strategy which works a great distance in direction of making the drama really feel relatable and related.
A part of what makes Transatlantic so compelling is that whereas the present isn’t afraid to get as darkish as its circumstances require, it’s additionally not afraid to embrace the occasional second of levity, from humorous misunderstandings to romantic drama to even an surprising musical quantity. It’s instantly straightforward to interact with this narrative — the baddies are clear and the great guys virtuous, even when circumstances push them in direction of some troublesome selections — and due to the respiratory room offered by a seven-episode run, character relationships are allowed to deepen because the tensions get larger.
Simply One other Blundering American: Manufacturing-wise, Transatlantic leans just a little exhausting on digital landscapes at instances, however in any other case the main points are well-rendered, and the cinematography isn’t afraid of coloration. Particularly eye-catching is the crumbling French villa co-opted as a headquarters for the ERC, which at instances is remodeled by the artists in hiding there.