5 Reasons You’re Excited For The Book Thief

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
November 7th, 2013

It’s hard to get excited about a movie set in Nazi Germany. We get it.

But The Book Thief opens nationwide this weekend, and we’ve taken the liberty of explaining just why this movie belongs on your Must See List…

1. THE BOOK THIEF, a novel

This story begins in 2005, when Australian author Markus Zusak published his original novel The Book Thief. The story was an instant hit, quickly achieving an international release in 2006, which afforded The Book Thief a seven-year run on the New York Times bet-seller list.

The Book Thief tells the story of a young girl, Liesel, who is sent to live with a foster family in World War II Germany. Liesel quickly discovers the power of books as a means of escape, rebellion, power, and ultimately identity. With the help of her new, loving foster parents (and an unexpected houseguest), Liesel transforms from a young woman to a powerful portrait of the resiliency of the human spirit.

2. Sophie Nélisse

Twelve-year old Sophie Nélisse was busy training in gymnastics for the 2016 Rio Olympics when she got a call from her agent inviting her to audition for The Book Thief. Prior to that call, Sophie had gained critical acclaim for her performance in the Canadian motion picture Monsieur Lazhar, but had since put her acting career on hold to pursue her dreams in gymnastics. The pause didn’t hold, and after reading the script for The Book Thief, Sophie knew it was the project for her.

Sophie is an unquestionable talent, and the shining star at the center of the film. At the age of twelve, her command of the camera in amazing. She drives the entire film in a way that is so mature for any professional actress, let alone a child. As costar Geoffrey Rush puts it, “she doesn’t go to the camera, the camera comes to her.” And while some may argue it’s too early to start comparing her more experienced counterparts, her performance speaks for itself. And it speaks quite loudly.

3. Geoffrey Rush

Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush is an incredible addition to any project, but truly shines in The Book Thief. Probably best known for his work in The King’s Speech and Pirates of the Caribbean, Rush has made a name for himself playing delightfully out-there characters. The Book Thief delivers Rush in a new context, playing the more straightforward role of loving step-father Hans Huberman. Whether you’re a fan of Rush’s more out there performances, or just a fan of cinema in general, his performance in this film is delightfully nuanced, worthy of excitement.

4. Brian Percival

Director Brian Percival is known for his work on the much-loved Downton Abbey, where he worked in all sorts of capacities, ranging from directing to helping create the overall look and feel alongside show creator Julian Fellowes.

Percival brings the same eye and dedication to The Book Thief, and as Geoffrey Rush explains: “we’re looking at probably one of the worst chapters in history, not just in Germany but the whole nature of the Second World War, and he brings an extraordinary daily reality to what was going on.

5. Emily Watson

Watson is a powerful force in the industry, establishing a name for herself as one the entertainment’s most acclaimed actresses. Most recently noted for her work on Anna Karenina, where she starred alongside Jude Law and Keira Knightly, Watson carries a dedication to her craft that shines through whatever project she is tackling. Her performance as Rosa Huberman in The Book Thief is no different, and Watson’s rapport with on-screen husband Rush adds just another delightful level to this deep and nuanced film.

So there you have it. Clear some time this weekend and make some time to check out the film everyone will surely be talking about.

Written by: Jeff Festa