The Book Thief [2013] ★★½

MV5BOTE3NzkyMjAyNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDc5MTE0MDE@._V1_SX640_SY720_I don’t like pigeonholing films, and I’ve never been a huge fan of the term “tear jerker”, but I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t tell you that several people at the screening I attended were moved to tears by “The Book Thief”, while I was unresponsive at some point. I’ve never read the book, but when people talked about it with passion, I was hoping that a screen adaptation can find a way to replicate those feelings. With that aside, I can tell you straight away that the movie, set in World War II, isn’t bad, not by a longshot. It’s well structured, as you wouldn’t expect from screenwriter Michael Petroni (“The Rite” was laughably bad), beautifully shot and well cast. Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson are a treat to watch as a German couple who take in a young girl when her mother couldn’t take care of her any longer.The girl, Liesel, is played with passion by Sophie Nelisse, who was memorable in the French-Canadian film “Monsieur Lazhar”. She has a face that makes it easy for us to relate to a child who suffers a lot but still finds the courage to endure. My problem with the movie is that it lacks emotional depth. Too many times (especially towards the end), I was told something I should have felt. And when it was over, I took nothing away with me except admiration for the young Nelisse who is a pleasure to watch. Still, “The Book Thief” has much to recommend, including its beautiful production (with incredible eye for details) and attractive stars. I was completely absorbed for a while, but a film of this kind ought to leave you breathless. That’s what I was wanting, and hoping for, so I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed.

Rating: 2.5/4

1 reply »

  1. The book got way more emotions out of me than the movie tbh. I didn’t even get into the movie to care about the tragic things happening (maybe because I expected them), especially the end scene when they die. It was more detailed in the book. But compared to other movies nowadays, I thought it was a pretty good one. The way it was filmed and all.

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