Posted by: greercn | March 21, 2014

The Book Thief

This is a terrific story, beautifully made and full of deft touches, writing and performances.

It’s a great shame it didn’t do better at the cinema. It deserves your attention.

Even if you have read Markus Zusak’s super book, there is still plenty to enjoy here. Few changes have been made in Michael Petroni’s sensitive adaptation.

Liesel is a young German girl who goes to live with foster parents. Sophie Nelisse is excellent and believable as the young lead.

Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson are fabulous as the strange new people Liesel goes to live with.

The whole cast is wonderful and features the least-annoying child actors ever.

Brian Percival directs with great sensitivity.

Death narrates and – as this is set in Germany in World War 2 – death is remarkably busy.

The love of books and the meaning they bring to many lives is at the heart of the tale. Scenery and interiors all look authentic, but it’s the passion about the written word that moves this to a superior level of film-making.

I saw it in a very empty Stratford East Picturehouse and I am told that other cinemas were similarly empty.

That’s a great pity. This very entertaining and moving film deserves to be seen by everyone.



  1. Could have been a whole lot darker than it was, and hell, it could have been a whole lot better, too. However, it was alright for what it was. Just should have eliminated that narration, though. Good review Greer.

  2. I loved the book and feared I would hate the movie. But the kiddie actors weren’t annoying and the WW2 setting wasn’t the standard take. I enjoyed it much more than I expected to. Thank you for the kind comment.

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