This one is for fans of foreign films. "Zelary" was nominated for Best Foreign Film - 2004, and although it didn't win, I found it to be affecting and lovely. I obtained the DVD from the local library. I later bought a copy for my own collection.

Our story takes place in early 1940s Czechoslovakia and begins with a nurse and her surgeon-lover who are part of the resistance in that country. As the Gestapo closes in on them, he must flee to another country and she is told she must leave with a patient whose life she helped to save. He is a millworker from the hinterlands and views her with bewildered awe. She is ordered to marry him so she can be con- cealed in his tiny mountain hamlet, where life remains as it was over a hundred years ago.

With only a couple of exceptions, this provincial village accepts her, and slowly she becomes assimilated. He is always courteous, even though her first attempt at cooking is inedible (even the dog won't touch it!), and it dawns on her that there might be more to him that she first suspected. This city-bred, highly educated young sophisticate learns to manage in a cottage with no running water, no electricity, no outside communication; in fact, you know how much she has changed when you see how pleased she is with a new wooden floor he and the neighbors install in their little home. Eventually they begin living as man and wife and you can watch her gradually fall in love with this kind, gentle, barely literate fellow.

There are moments of violence (the Gestapo is involved, after all!), and times when her nursing skills are desperately needed. You become acquainted with the villagers -- good and bad -- and end up very much invested in their fate.

This is a fine film. "The Sea Inside" won the Academy Award that year, but for pure enjoyment, I prefer "Zelary."