Friday, December 6, 2013


 Wartime drama

Sophie Nélisse: 11-year-old Liesel Meminger
Geoffrey Rush: her adoptive father Hans Hubermann
Emily Watson: his wife Rosa
Nico Liersch: 11-year-old Rudy Steiner
Rainer Bock: Buergermeister Hermann
Barbara Auer: his wife Ilsa
Ben Schnetzer: Jewish refugee Max

This story of a young girl who learns to love books begins before the onset of World War II. However this is a sanitized version of the real thing and does not ring true: the flags are all bright and pristine, not faded and frayed; the cars are all clean and polished not dusty and dirty; the uniforms are all pressed and immaculate, not tattered and torn; these Nazis rough up citizens and burn books, not people.

Several other shortcomings are much in evidence: with a run time in excess of two hours it is a tad too long and the narration by the Grim Reaper serves only as an unwelcome intrusion and people speaking English with a funny accent and using a smattering of German words.

On the other hand the performances are all top-notch although that of Sophie Nélisse is the best, possibly garnering a nomination for an award of some sort?


for some violence and intense depiction of thematic material.

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