Julie’s Review Room: ‘The Book Thief’

“The Book Thief” stars Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson as a couple who adopt a young girl at the onset of World War 2.

It’s based on the popular novel of the same name by Markus Zusak, which I read with my book club a few years ago. I have to say that the biggest complaints I had about the book are the same complaints I have about the movie. First of all, it’s narrated by Death, which is pretentious and totally unnecessary because the story is really about this abandoned little girl named Liesel. She is played by Sophie Nelisse, who glows with wide-eyed innocence, even though she struggles with that German accent. Most of the child actors in “The Book Thief” give inconsistent performances, but it doesn’t really matter when Geoffrey Rush is stealing every scene. He plays Liesel’s kindly adoptive Papa, which brings me to my second complaint about “The Book Thief.” The ending is wildly disappointing. I’ve always felt that author Markus Zusak didn’t know how to wrap up his story, so he did the worst possible thing with it. It’s a smudge on an otherwise sweet story of childhood during wartime and that’s why I’m giving “The Book Thief” a C+.

If that sounds too depressing, the latest Superman flick, “Man of Steel” is now out on DVD. I also gave this one a C+ when it was released, because it takes itself way too seriously and there is NO heat between Superman & the new Lois Lane. This story is ALWAYS enjoyable though, and Henry Cavill is probably the prettiest Superman we’ve had yet so “Man of Steel” would be an excellent weekend renter!


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