"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Mar 112014

photo for “The Book Thief,” based on the international bestselling book by Markus Zusak, got a bum rap by most critics for 1) translating a young-adult novel to the big screen, 2) for bracketing the story with narration by Death, and, 3), for supposedly soft-peddling the horrors of World War II Germany. To be generous, the film adequately translates to the big screen the confused emotions of a spirited young girl who is sent to live with a foster family in a small German town where — with the help of the local bürgermeister’s wife — she learns to love and appreciate books — and — with her new parents — she hides a Jewish refugee in the basement, where she learns about the sanctity of life and the importance of ideas. On the other hand, the film is a bit sappy and sentimental and shy of any momentous revelations. Still, it’s the kind of film you might want to take your 13-year-old to see before they wander down the path to such young-adult junk as “Ender’s Game.” Great performances from Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson and Sophie Nelisse as Liesel (the book thief). Extras: Deleted scenes, theatrical trailer. Blu-ray adds “A Hidden Truth: Bringing the Book Thief to Life.” Vitals: Director: Brian Percival. Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Sophie Nelisse, Ben Schnetzer, Nico Liersch, Kristen Block. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 131 min., Drama, Box office gross: $16.596 million, Fox. 3 stars

 Posted by on March 11, 2014  Add comments

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