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Oh how I loved The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak when I first read it way back in 2009 (read my review). And so when this amazing book was made into a movie, I could not wait to see it. But I had to wait, because it only just now arrived in my area (the movie was actually released in November). My husband and I went to see it Saturday and it was powerful and wonderful. Not only did it follow the book (I hate when the movie is different from a book I’ve loved), but the actors chosen for the characters were perfect.
First let me talk about Sophie Nélisse (a Canadian teen actress) who plays the part of Liesel. She is stunning with huge, expressive eyes…and she nails Liesel, capturing her vulnerability, but also her feisty nature and love of words. This young actress stole my heart on many levels and was the perfect choice for Liesel.
The actors for both Rosa and Hans (Liesel’s adoptive parents) were also perfect. Geoffrey Roy Rush, AC, is an Australian actor and film producer and he embodies the warm heart and caring nature of Hans. As soon as he walks on screen, he creates the fatherly chemistry needed for the part. And then there is Emily Margaret Watson, an English actress, who plays the part of Rosa. Initially tough and biting, she manages to show Rosa’s soft heart as the movie progresses.
Outstanding performances were also given by Ben Schnetzer as Max Vandenburg (a Jewish man who takes refusge in the basement of Rosa and Hans), Nico Liersch as Rudy Steiner, and Roger Allam who narrates the story as Death.
Director Brian Percival has done an astonishing job at capturing The Book Thief on the big screen – from setting, to music, to the actors he chose to play the various characters, the effect was brilliant. Poignant, and with a wonderful message of love and the power of words to overcome evil, The Book Thief movie is well worth your time. Go see it.