This is reportedly based on a Dutch bestseller – unsurprising, perhaps, given the schematic, sentimental, simplistic account of history it provides. Separated in 1926 when their folks die, six-year-olds Lotte and Anna are allotted neatly polarised but parallel destinies: the former is swept off to Holland by a well-to-do, liberal but overprotective couple, while the latter is left behind in Germany to slave on a filthy farm for boorish, brutally cruel Catholics. As each thereafter makes her predictable way in a world increasingly affected by Hitler and anti-Semitism, they communicate only telepathically (letters are sabotaged by their guardians) until 1939, at which conveniently fateful point the tidily tragic destinies allotted their respective lovers tear them apart again – until, of course, old age… This clichéd chronicle of solitude, suffering, grief and guilt is heavily underlined by a churning orchestral score and camerawork that’s consistently, insistently tasteful (even sex and carnage are inoffensively discreet). Nor can decent performances deepen the pallid approach to characterisation. Not good.