Skip to main content

The Book Thief–Not to be Shelved

Book Thief A pre-teen  girl, Liesel Menninger (the extraordinary Sophie Nelisse)  is handed off by her mother, who no longer  can care for her , to a middle-aged couple. The time is pre-Kristallnacht Germany, 1938.

Her foster home is simple and impoverished.  Her foreboding foster mother, Rosa Hubermann (the extraordinary Emily Watson) shows little affection, at first,  for the frightened girl. But the  irascible  father Hans (the endearing Geoffrey Rush) comforts the shy twelve-year old with magical and fanciful allusions to literature and music, playing his accordion and composing songs just for her.

Liesel soon adapts to her intimidating environment.  Her foster father teaches her to read and to find comfort in books, even though the only book she has is one that had dropped in the snow.  Soon she begins  stealing books and, even hiding them, when Kristallnacht’s infamous night happens.

This movie is hauntingly beautiful, but moves at a pace that , at times, is slow. Moreover, the  ending  is anti-climactic.  But the performances are startling and award-worthy.    Based on a novel, commenting on the inhumanity  of Nazi Germany, “The Book Thief” is  a graceful tale of one small soul fighting to make sense of her world, questioning its cruelty, and seizing independence. Liesel is determined  to find a way of being “normal” in a world of unspeakable horror.

Above all, “The Book Thief” is  a love story:  of friendship, love of integrity, love  of the written word, with the feel of a fable or children’s tale, a dreamy sort of look at the life books open to the eyes of a child.  A must-see.   Rent it on Netflix, which has just released it!

Comments (3)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to my Newsletter

* indicates required
Jul0 Posts
Aug0 Posts
Sep0 Posts
Oct0 Posts
Nov0 Posts
Dec0 Posts
Jan0 Posts
Feb0 Posts
Mar0 Posts
Apr0 Posts
May0 Posts
Jun0 Posts
Jul0 Posts
Aug0 Posts
Sep0 Posts
Oct0 Posts