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Winner Best Literary Fiction Blog - 2008
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The Book Thief – The Movie

*click on any photo to enjoy a larger view

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.

LieselFirst 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.



  1. February 10, 2014    

    I haven’t read the book yet but I loved the movie and agree with you that the casting was fabulous.

  2. February 10, 2014    


  3. February 10, 2014    

    I just saw it on Tuesday! Oh Wendy, it was so wonderful. You nailed the review completely. The adaptation was done so well. I had reread the book in the fall for book club, so remembered more that was left out, but they did just enough.

    Hans and Rosa? were perfection I thought. I know Hans is the nicer guy, but I think Rosa might be my favorite. It took her toughness to allow Hans to be so gentle. I compare Hans and Rosa to Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. I loved when Rosa came to the school to tell Liesl. And Max was great too.

    My friend and I took our 14 year old daughters with us, although they hadn’t read the book. Neither one shed a tear (the moms were wiping their faces a lot) but were very upset about Rudy. Very.

  4. Mary Mary
    February 10, 2014    

    I was not sure I wanted to see the movie as I so loved the book…but you have changed my mind!

  5. February 10, 2014    

    I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am to read this glowing review, Wendy!!! The Book Thief is on my Top Ten Lifetime List and I was so worried that the film didn’t do the book justice. Now I can go see this movie when it comes to my area. I’m breathing a huge sigh of relief. Thank you.

  6. February 10, 2014    

    So glad to hear this was as good as I hope.

  7. February 10, 2014    

    Oh, I stopped checking. I wonder if it came anywhere near me yet! I really wanted to see it.

  8. February 10, 2014    

    I’m so glad they didn’t screw it up! I’ll definitely be watching this when it comes out on DVD.

  9. February 12, 2014    

    I’ve been really wanting to see this, so I’m very glad to hear you liked it, and that it stuck close to the source. Must go- except ooops, we’re getting snowed in!

  10. February 20, 2014    

    Oh I’m so glad you liked the movie; I wasn’t sure it would live up to the book but after your review I’ll definitely see it. I read it in 2012 not too long ago. thx for the heads up on this. http://www.thecuecard.com/

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