The Book Thief (2013)
The Book Thief (2013)
The Book Thief is a heartbreaking and heartwarming story of innocence, stolen.
I’ve always been drawn to stories about World War II. Movies about WWII have a tendency to be very powerful films if done correctly. I think that this is because it was such a hard and troubling time in the world when Hitler was in power.
The movie is based off of the novel with the same name by Markus Zusak. The film is about Liesel (Sophie Nelisse), a young girl without a family in Nazi Germany during WWII. She gets taken in and adopted by a couple who also hide a Jewish boy under their stairs. With all of the terrible things going on around her, Liesel takes comfort in learning how to read. She begins to read whatever books that are available to her. Eventually she starts stealing books and sharing them with her new family.
The film was directed by Brian Percival and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Ben Schnetzer, Joachim Paul Assbock, Kirsten Block, Roger Allam, Nico Liersch and Sandra Nedeleff.
The film was slower, but a true drama. It depended solely on acting and story to get its point across. Don’t expect an action-packed war movie. However, a story about Nazi Germany during WWII is intense enough. Although the story is pretty serious, I liked how there was a bit of humor thrown in to cut the tension and make it more enjoyable.
The Book Thief had some similarities to the movie The Pianist (2002), except that it was not as intense.
I will admit, the touching story made me shed a few tears. The movie does a great job of making you care about the characters. The acting draws you into the story.
Geoffrey Rush and Sophie Nelisse both deliver genuinely heartfelt performances. The presence of Rush was what was needed to make everyone act on a higher level. He was the glue that held the movie together.
The set was a work of art. Germany during the late 30s and early 40s was duplicated very believably. That task could not have been a simple one.
The only thing that I thought was a little weird about the movie was the way that it was narrated. The only explanation that I can think of as to why it was done the way that it was is maybe that was how it was narrated in the book. Regardless, it comes off as a little odd. The narration style does not seem to fit the type of film that The Book Thief is.
I applaud the filmmakers for getting a movie like this one made. In a movie world so consumed with special effects, action, sequels, superheroes, and unoriginality, The Book Thief is the type of film that we need more of. It’s a genuinely refreshing story that takes plenty of risks.
I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
Posted on January 15, 2014, in Drama Movie Reviews, War Movie Reviews and tagged Ben Schnetzer, Brian Percival, Emily Watson, Geoffrey Rush, Joachim Paul Assbock, Kirsten Block, Markus Zusak, movie, Nico Liersch, Roger Allam, Sandra Nedeleff, Sophie Nelisse, The Book Thief (2013), The Pianist (2002), War Movie. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.
Just saw this one today. I also liked it a lot and found the narrative tool a bit strange also.
Yeah, it just didn’t fit. Everyone that I saw it with thought the same thing. Weird. Thanks for the comment, Rob!
Death personified is a unique approach. I loved the film. Very nice review! 🙂
Thank you, Cindy! It was a very unique approach. However, it just felt like Death as the narrator seemed a little to jolly or something. When I think of Death as the Grim Reaper, I think of him showing up when someone has been ill and he sees it coming. I don’t think of him knowing right away when someone is going to be murdered. Now, that’s neither here nor there, nobody knows what is in store, and the Death approach was original.
Good review. Felt a bit more “safe” than it should have been, given what period in which this story took place. However, it was a bit better than what I expected, so I guess there’s some credit to be given for that.
Thanks, CMrok! It was better than I expected, and yes, it did feel pretty safe, but I think that was what was unique about it. Thanks for reading : )