Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Book Thief (2013): Review

This weekend I went and saw The Book Thief and I am glad to say that I really liked it and was glad that it was up to my expectations.  I have not read the book but when I saw the first preview for this movie, it looked very interesting and Leisel the heroine intrigued me.  Although this is not a movie that focuses on the warm fuzy feelings it focuses on how people can touch each other and really make an impact on the people around them.
The Book Thief is a movie adaptation of the 2006 Markus Zusak book of the same day.  It is narrated by Death, voiced by Roger Allam, who has been kept busy as the story is set during WWII Germany and due to the war many people are meeting him.  One day as he is taking her younger brother he sees Leisel, played by Sophie Nelisse, who intrigues him and who he follows throughout her life. Leisel is on her way to live with her new adopted parents, Hanz, played by Geoffrey Rush, and Rosa, played by Emily Robertson.  It takes a while for her to settle in as she meets friend Rudy, played by Nico Liersch, and is teased because she cant read.  She starts to learn to read with papa Hanz and because focused on books.  As the war rages on, her family takes in an on the run Jew Max, played by Ben Schnetzer, and are put in danger because they are hiding him in their basement.  Leisel tries to make sense of her world of secrets, books, and friendships, all while being in peril from the war and air raids.
This movie was wonderfully shot and executed and I would recommend it for anyone who likes good dramas. The casting and acting was fantastic and the story pulled me in.  I loved the relationship between Leisel and Hanz as well as how although she was cranky, underneath Rosa really cared for those around her. The filmmaking and costuming was really good and when I wasn't focused on the story you could see all the work that was put into the movie and how all the components fit really well together. I was able to be drawn into the world of Nazi Germany that Leisel lived in and see how she struggled with her curiosity and secrets.
For those who have read the book I am sure that they will think that the book was better (who doesn't usually think this) but for me I really like it and am now thinking about reading the book. One of the things that some people may struggle with in this movie are the accents, at times they are very thick and the dialogue difficult to hear, which is a bummer because what is going on has a lot of depth. There are also moments of subtitles, which need to be read to gain the pertinent information.
I recommend seeing this movie and although it is set during the war and has death in it, it would be appropriate for older children.

My Rating: 3

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