Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Brian Percival
Beyond words.
I recently watched The Book Thief (released October 2013) by British director Brian Percival (Downtown Abbey, among others). Markus Zusak's beautiful same-titled book had really struck a chord with me two years ago, and so the German-American movie adaptation was certainly on my radar. Unfortunately something alwasy came up, which is why I hadn't yet seen it. Until it came on TV while I was cleaning, that is. I was quickly hooked, and let's just say I didn't get a lot of cleaning done.


The skinny

The movie follows young girl Liesel (fresh talente Sophie Nelisse), who is sent to live with her foster parents Hans (Captain Hector Barbossa Geoffrey Rush) and Rose (Emily Watson) after her Communist mother flees WWII Germany. The only thing Liesel has brung with her? A gravedigger's manual she picked up at her brother's graveside. As Hans teaches her to read, Liesel develops a love for words and books, even rescuing some at a Nazi book burning. With the help of her foster parents and a secret guest under the stairs, she does her best to remain spirited, brave and determined amid hopelessness.

The review


This was gut-wrenching, even if you knew what you were in for.

There are three reasons why you should most definitely watch this movie:
  1. The lead characters deliver subtle and moving performances. Rush is great, so is Watson, and Sophie Nelisse is truly a revelation.
  2. The photography is nothing short of amazing,with lots of browns, beigens and greys, setting a hauntingly beautiful decor for the movie to play out in.
  3. The narration from Death is brilliant, just like it was in the book.
If you're looking for a beautiful movie about the power of literature, the fragility of life, and life under Nazism, with some outstanding acting performances by a cast of wonderful actors, The Book Thief is right up your alley. Seeing the events of war through the eyes of a child definitely offers some perspective. Steer clear if flashy, big and loud is what you usually go for.

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