On paper, this film should be fantastic. It has all the components that a lyrical WWII film should: the beautiful Jewish girl, the reluctant Nazi, the ambitious storyline….
Had this film been named ‘Hearts of War’ as it was upon its original US release, I probably wouldn’t have watched it, but a grand name like ‘The Poet’ promises things that this film simply cannot live up to. As the male lead, Jonathan Scarfe is more akin to murky dishwater than a genuine hero, casting regular despairing glances at the thought of his fated love story, his brow furrowing to show his distaste for the Nazi regime. Despite Nina Dobrev’s unquestionable beauty and her undeniable efforts to succeed in this film, nothing could save the flimsy plot line or its laughable accents; Not even cameo roles from veteran actors Kim Coates and Daryl Hannah.
In short, if you want to watch a decent WWII romance that you want to finish (rather than labour through to the end simply because you might as well), rent ‘The Black Book’ instead.