Actors: Sophie Nélisse, Kelly Macdonald, Michael Shannon, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson
Directed by Brian Percival
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Run Time: 131 minutes
Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars
“The Book Thief” is a film that got lost in the sea of films that came out last Fall. It is best on the best-selling book by Markus Zusak. It takes place in Germany during WWII, which is a tough sell sometimes. But this film is really well-done and deserves some attention. The acting is amazing. Sophie Nélisse steals your heart, while Kelly Macdonald, Michael Shannon, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson all give wonderful performances as well. The locations where the film are shot are stunning and it is topped off with another wonderful score from master composer John Williams. I would definitely recommend giving this unnoticed film a chance!
Official Premise: Based on the beloved best-selling book comes a story of a girl who transforms the lives of those around her during World War II, Germany. When her mother can no longer care for her, Liesel (Sophie Nélisse) is adopted by a German couple (OSCAR® Winner Geoffrey Rush and OSCAR® Nominee Emily Watson). Although she arrives illiterate, Liesel is encouraged to learn to read by her adoptive father. When the couple then takes in Max (Ben Schnetzer), a Jew hiding from Hitler’s army, Liesel befriends him. Ultimately, words and imagination provide the friends with an escape from the events unfolding around them in this extraordinary, acclaimed film directed by Brian Percival (Downton Abbey).
The Blu-ray from Fox comes as a combo pack including a Digital HD Ultraviolet copy as well. The 1080p transfer is solid and really works well with the backdrop of Germany. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is beautiful and hauting at the same time and really showcases Williams’ score very well. In terms of special features, things are a little light there is one featurette looking into the behind-the-scenes “Hidden Truth: Bringing The Book Thief To Life”. Besides that there are only some Deleted Scenes and a Theatrical Trailer included. I would have loved to had a commentary track at least from the director…or even better the author.