Flash Movie Review: The Book Thief

Some people determine their wealth based on how many books they have in their possession. I can absolutely understand the concept. Books are portals that let me visit different lands, times and people. Sitting in a crowded subway car does not bother me; knowing that as soon as I crack open the cover to my book, I will be off on an adventure down to a place such as the Amazon River. Another benefit that comes with books is the opportunity to share them with someone else. One of my favorite date nights is going to a bookstore, where we split up and seek out books we think the other person would enjoy reading. I consider the act of reading aloud to someone to be a sweet, loving gesture. You can now understand why the title to this dramatic movie, based on the best selling novel, intrigued me. The book thief in this story was a young girl named Liesel, played by Sophie Nelisse (Monsieur Lazhar, Esimesac). Set in Germany during the early stages of World War II, Liesel was sent to live with foster parents Rosa and Hans, played by Emily Watson (War Horse, Breaking the Waves) and Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech, Pirates of the Caribbean franchise). As the horrors of war took place around her, Liesel’s love of books provided a safe haven for her and the people around her. Though I have not read the book, after seeing this film festival winner I have the urge to read it now. Besides the wonderful performance from Sophie Nelisse, I thought Geoffrey Rush did a great job with his role. The chemistry came across as lovingly real between the two of them. I did have some confusion on the circumstances that led Liesel to her foster parents, however. There were several other scenes that seemed rushed or without much emotional depth. This can be attributed to the script, for I found it to be uneven. Having the story told from a child’s perspective was something I found different then other films that dealt with the subject of Nazi Germany. One thing I found odd was the use of a narrator, especially towards the latter part of the movie where I felt the story was being quickly rushed to wrap things up. I liked parts of this film but the thing I really enjoyed was being reminded of a saying I used to hear when growing up–no one can ever rob you of an education. A few scenes had German spoken with English subtitles.

 

2 1/2 stars

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About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on November 19, 2013, in Drama and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I would really like to see this film. The book is amazing. You should really read it. It sounds as though there were certain things in the book that they couldn’t translate to film. The book is narrated by Death and the beginning explains how she came to be with her foster parents. Unfortunately, I read this book before I started my book blog so I haven’t done a post on it. You should definitely read it though.

  2. If I had a dollar for every book I have, I would have the time to write my own! Thank you for another recommendation and nice post!

  3. When the book came out about 7 years ago, I read it and thought it was one of the best books I’ve ever read. I can’t see the movie being as good as the book. Thanks for the review.

  4. Wow. I’m glad I made it to your page today. I will definitely look for this.

  5. I’ve been hoping to read a good review on this movie, thanks for providing one. Now I’m interested in both reading the book and seeing the movie, but in that order. Great post.

  6. I was thinking the same thing as I walked out of the movie theater this weekend: the book must be so terrific as it had the luxury of filling in the gaps that the movie had due to time constraints. For example, I bet that Liesel’s relationship with the burgermeister’s wife was probably much more developed and nuanced in the book.

    Still, the film has stayed with me, and the actress who played Liesel was terrific. It really made me want to read the book!

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