Week 8 The Book Thief


Director: Brian Percival 

Screenplay:   Michael Petroni

Release Date:  October 3, 2013


Rated PG-13

Starring:  Sophie Nelisse, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson

Synopses:  The Book Thief is a movie based in Nazi Germany during World War II.  The film is about a young girl, played by Sophie Nelisse, who went to live with adoptive parents, played by Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson.  Times were bad in Germany during this time.  Food is scarce and life was hard.  Liesel is befriended by a young boy her age and they become very close friends.

Liesel (Sophie Nelisse) is mocked by her fellow schoolmates for not being able to read.  She comes home and tells her father, who teaches her how to read.  Liesel falls in love with reading.  The Nazi soldiers are ordered to burn German citizen’s books.   Liesel watches sadly, and retrieves one book from the fire.  A German woman sees Liesel retrieving the book and is interested in this young girl.

Liesel’s mother takes in laundry to make ends meet.  Liesel is told to deliver clean laundry to a family she is washing for.  When Liesel arrives at this beautiful large home, she sees the lady from the book burning.  The woman invites her in and shows her their library.  She shows Liesel her library and Liesel eyes open in wonder.  She sees an open low window and begins borrowing books from a kind German woman who is married to a German soldier.   Liesel decides to borrow books only to bring them back in exchange for others. 

Her adoptive mother, hardened by the war, Rosa, played by Emily Watson appeared sad and angry.  However, towards the end of the movie she softened and was a true mother to Liesel.

She shares these books with a Jewish refugee, who Hans hides in his basement.  The young man and Liesel become friends.  It becomes unsafe for Hans, his wife and Liesel for the man to stay in their basement.  Hans requests that the refugee leave the basement in search of another place to hide.

One night, while Liesel was in their basement, a bombing raid goes over head.  Their home is destroyed and Liesel’s parents are killed.  Liesel survives and is found in the rubble.  Everyone she loved was gone and she had to make it alone.  She is taken in by the nice woman.

Review:  The Book Thief is a story adapted on a novel based on the same name by Markus Zusak. I really enjoyed this movie.  The up and coming young actress, Sophie Nelisse was excellent in her portrayal of Liesel.  Geoffrey Rush who played Hans was a lovable character who was sensitive and loving.  Emily Watson did an excellent job portraying her sad character.  The setting for the movie was much like other Nazi war stories made in the past.  The story kept me interested and the story was believable except the thieving of books.   

The Book Thief received Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for its score, composed by John Williams.  Sophie Nelisse, won the Hollywood Film Festival Spotlight Award, the Satellite Newcomer Award and the Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role – Female.






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