The Book Thief Blu-ray review

The Book Thief, based on the novel of the same name by Markus Zusak, opens with a narration by Death (Roger Allam), describing how the actions of Liesel Meminger (Sophie Nélisse) have piqued his interest. Liesel and her younger brother had been traveling by train with their mother when her brother suddenly died. At the funeral, Liesel picks up a book dropped by one of the grave diggers, starting her career as a book thief. She is then dropped off with foster parents, Hans (Geoffrey Rush) and Rosa (Emily Watson). Although the girl is traumatized and at first refuses to leave the car she arrived in, kindly Hans takes time to talk to her and she finally agrees to go in the house with him. She draws the attention of a neighborhood boy named Rudy Steiner (Nico Liersch) and the two become fast friends. However, when Liesel is asked to write her name on the blackboard on her first day of school, it becomes clear she doesn’t know how to read or write.

Hans decides to teach Liesel to read by using the book she’d taken from the graveside. She’s an eager learner and is inspired to read more books, which are hard to get hold of during war time. Dealing with the horrors of World War II in Nazi Germany, she takes comfort  in stealing books and sharing them with others. She learns how to cope during the war by reading to her neighbors in the air raid shelter and by keeping quiet about the Jewish refugee, Max Vandenburg (Ben Schnetzer), whom her adoptive parents are hiding in their basement.

Having not read the book I was looking forward  to seeing the film adaption. I was taken in by the breathtaking cinematography. Director Brian Percival adeptly tells Liesel’s story and has the audience empathizing with her situation. I felt an emotional connection with these characters, especially Liesel and her adoptive family. As a book lover I sympathized as Liesel watched books being burned in the town square. I also enjoyed Liesel’s transformation from a shy, frightened little girl to a brave, intelligent young woman.

Screenwriter Michael Petroni and Oscar-nominated composer John Williams helped to do this film justice by bringing it from page to screen and giving it just the right tone. Zusak, the author of the novel, was also heavily involved in the making of the film and he was reportedly quite happy (and rightly so) with the cast. Geoffrey Rush did a phenomenal job as Hans and Sophie Nelisse was a perfect Liesel.

Special extras include a special featurette called “A Hidden Truth:Bringing the Book Thief to Life,” that gives the audience an in-depth look behind the scenes of the film. There are interviews with the author, director and the three lead actors. The featurette also takes a close look at the costuming, set design and music composition. This was a very interesting little extra that I enjoyed watching – it gave me a deeper understanding of the film and book. Also included are deleted scenes that add more context to the film. Overall this is an enjoyable film with a heartwarming story that gives insight into the lives of everyday Germans during a very frightening time in history. ~Tarah Bleier

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Comments & Discussion

  1. diane king • March 12, 2014 @ 10:28 AM

    I love the story about reading books and stealing them. sounds like a different kind of movie that looks interesting. would be great to win this movie — very curious about it….

  2. Mathew Hennig • March 12, 2014 @ 10:29 AM

    I love movies with a strong plot that take place in historical settings.

  3. Vijay • March 12, 2014 @ 10:29 AM

    I’d love the Blu-ray because I’m a huge fan of both Geoffrey and Emily. But really cos I love non-war stories set in a war era.

  4. Kirsten • March 12, 2014 @ 10:32 AM

    I would like to win a copy because my sister and mom read the book but haven’t seen the movie yet.

  5. Laura • March 12, 2014 @ 10:38 AM

    Sounds like a wonderful story, would love to see the movie.

  6. Terry Wong • March 12, 2014 @ 10:40 AM

    It is interesting to see how the children of German’s experienced this shameful time during WWII.

  7. Angela Leong • March 12, 2014 @ 10:44 AM

    I have read the book but haven’t watch the film yet & would like to win this movie added to my collection.

  8. Sarah Courchesne • March 12, 2014 @ 10:55 AM

    I enjoying reading books that have meaning to them….a story behind the story… Know what I mean?

    After reading the review I want to go and buy the book, I love to read the books before I see it turned into a movie.

    It sounds like a very inspiring, touching and yet sad story.

    I can’t wait to read the book then of course watch the movie and probably cry. I’m a sucker for war movies.

    Excellent review, it sure made me want to see it as well as everyone else who left a comment!

  9. Sandra Chartier • March 12, 2014 @ 11:05 AM

    I didn’t see this movie yet but I couldn’t wait! This little girl looks like me at the same age! When I had 10-12 years old nothing was more pleasant then spending all my week-end to read! 🙂

  10. Laura • March 12, 2014 @ 11:33 AM

    I would love to watch this movie because it sounds like an interesting story.

  11. Caelin W • March 12, 2014 @ 11:52 AM

    I would love to win this movie because I have been wanting to read the book for a while now, but with two small children, a movie is more realistic right now!

  12. Tiffany • March 12, 2014 @ 11:59 AM

    I loved this movie. One of the most realistic and endearing movies about wartime Germany in a very long time.

  13. Kris • March 12, 2014 @ 12:01 PM

    It was my favourite movie last year…beautiful film.

  14. Aileen Mowat • March 12, 2014 @ 12:36 PM

    I really like Historical dramas especially World War II.
    We all need to remember what happened during those years so we do not repeat those mistakes.

  15. Michelle Elliot • March 12, 2014 @ 12:56 PM

    I think that this looks like an awesome movie that came out of the theaters way to quickly. I had been wanting to see it really badly perhaps with my daughter as it has a historical component to it as well however we were not able to get to it in time so winning it would give us am opportunity to enjoy it over and over again.

  16. Susan T. • March 12, 2014 @ 1:29 PM

    I didn’t get to see this in the theater because I was dealing with a serious illness so I would love to be able to see it in my own home!

  17. Brenda De Jong • March 12, 2014 @ 1:33 PM

    Amazing movie. Loved it. Would love to add this one to my collection and get my Mom to watch it.

  18. Lily Leung • March 12, 2014 @ 1:52 PM

    I bought the book and haven’t read it yet because I wanted to watch the movie first but I missed it in the theatre.

  19. Francis Chai • March 12, 2014 @ 1:53 PM

    My wife loved this movie & hope to win this as her birthday gift in two week.

  20. LAinVan • March 12, 2014 @ 2:55 PM

    Winning this dvd would feel as liberating as Liesel stealing the books … as I would enjoy and then pass the movie along to friends so we could share the experience

  21. Wayne Lecoy • March 12, 2014 @ 3:19 PM

    I would like to win The Book Thief Blu-ray
    because this looks like a movie i would enjoy.
    I haven’t watched this movie but
    from reading your review it
    sounds like a heart warming story
    the whole family can enjoy.
    Thank you for having this giveaway!!!!!!!!

  22. Alison K • March 12, 2014 @ 7:30 PM

    I would like to win a copy of The Book Thief Blu-ray ‘cos I saw it in the theater & it was so incredibly powerful, I would really like to watch & share it with my friends. Thank you.

  23. Gail Anema • March 12, 2014 @ 10:31 PM

    I’d love to win a copy of “The Book Thief” on Blu-ray – it sounds like an excellent story with roots in historical events and full of human interest. Thank you for this opportunity!

  24. Karen Gauthier • March 13, 2014 @ 2:00 AM

    I would like to win The Book Thief Blu-ray
    because this looks like a movie i would enjoy.
    I have watched the trailer and it looks like an excellent story that will make you laugh and cry.
    Thank you for having this giveaway.

  25. Cory Fillion • March 13, 2014 @ 2:06 AM

    I would like to win the Book Thief Blu-Ray
    because I didn’t have the chance to see it in the theaters. I liked your review and it makes me want to see this movie more.
    Thanks for having this giveaway.

  26. Lan Lam • March 13, 2014 @ 7:45 AM

    I would like to win the Book Thief Blu-Ray because i have not see the movie and it sound like my type of movie. Thank you.

  27. MArie-Eve Bergeron • March 13, 2014 @ 10:34 PM

    I would like to win the Book Thief Blu-Ray because the story seem interesting. And i pretty sure i would love it as i’m a huge reader myself !!

    Thanks

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