Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Friday, 22 November 2013 01:00

'The Book Thief' Exchanges Reality for Claptrap' + Video

'The Book Thief' Exchanges Reality for Claptrap' clotureclub.com
Written by Martha K. Baker
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Related Video

About this Media...

German fairy tales present cozy, cottage stories that veil torture and fear. "The Book Thief" presents World War II as a cozy time with but hints of fear and torture, and that falseness results in a film that goes on and on, never offering reality.

You would think that a film narrated by Death would create an appropriate sense of fear, but Death's voice is honey butter on warm toast as voiced by Roger Allam. Having an all-seeing voice adds a layer to the movie that models a book with an omniscient point of view, the book here being a young-adult novel written by Markus Zusak, with a screenplay by Michael Petroni, who also scripted one of the Chronicles of Narnia films.

The story follows a girl's placement into a foster family soon after her brother dies in their mother's arms. Liesel is wide-eyed and precocious, although illiterate, but she is lucky enough to land in the lap of Hans Huberman, a sign painter, who knows his letters. After Liesel is teased at her new school for not knowing her letters, he creates a basement glossary for her, its very walls lettered and worded as she learns how to read.

Director Brian Percival (he's worked on "Downton Abbey") spends very little time on the arduous task of reading. Liesel goes from knowing nothing to inhaling and ingesting books like delicious sauerbraten. She is courted by a tow-headed Rudy, her best friend in all the world, a world that is heading toward war when the story starts in 1938 and is finding peace when the story ends in 1945.

Sophie Nélisse plays Liesel, more bland than aware. Nico Liersch plays Rudy as brave and handsome; it's not the boy's fault that he appears younger in scenes later in the film as if the continuity guy lost his place. Geoffrey Rush plays Hans, a hulking and kindly presence, and he is winsome. Emily Watson is the best face to watch as Rosa, a witchy woman at the beginning, reminiscent of those German fairy tales. Barbara Auer is the burgermeister's wife, who helps Liesel. Ben Schnetzer is Max, the love interest and requisite hidden Jew. Their British and German accents are all over the place.

John Williams' score is swollen with telegraphic violins.

Even if you're a bibliophile over 12, say, and a lover of language and you think you should revel in this story of the power of words, "The Book Thief" manages, with its many unending endings, to betray your faith. If you have found solace in books, you will feel especially betrayed by the flimsy, sentimental story and rosy execution of "The Book Thief." You know you ought to appreciate it, but you know that you've been horribly let down. Even by Death.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


The Driftaways

Mon July 28
The Driftaways are a seven man reggae band hailing from St. Louis. Their E.P. Don't Hide is full of high energy jams and groovey improves that gives them a good time vibe. Download their song "Don't Hide"…

Dad Jr: Get Down. Hard.

Sun June 29

KDHX Recommends

July
Thursday
31

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys KDHX presents Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys at The Stage, July 31 at 8pm. Tickets available online.   Born in Louisiana and raised in Missouri, Folk remembers watching his Dad pick the country blues on a...


August
Saturday
02

The Aching Hearts at Harvest Sessions 2014

The Aching Hearts at Harvest Sessions 2014 The Aching Hearts are the husband and wife duo of Ryan Spearman and Kelly Wells (host of Steam-Powered Radio on 88.1 KDHX), who recently released the CD "Just a Habit." Join them and KDHX for a morning of classic, old-time...


August
Wednesday
06

Discovery Series: Mandolin Orange

Discovery Series: Mandolin Orange KDHX presents Mandolin Orange as part of the Discovery Series on Wednesday August 6 at 7:30 p.m. The North Carolina-based duo combines bluegrass, rock and country, providing a modern take on age-old styles. Tickets available...


Online Users

5 users and 9201 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook