Thursday, April 3, 2014

Blu-ray Review: The Book Thief (based on the book by Markus Zusak)

*Disclosure: I received a copy of The Book Thief on Blu-ray to facilitate this review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

I reviewed The Book Thief back on my film blog in November 2013, and I enjoyed it a lot. I read the book of the same name a while back, as well, and remembered liking it.

Now the movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD, and it has a few special features that might make it worth your while.

First, a little about the movie if you're unfamiliar with it:

Based on the beloved best-selling book comes an “extremely moving” (Leonard Maltin, Indiewire) story of a girl who transforms the lives of those around her during World War II, Germany. When her mother can no longer care for her, Liesel (Sophie Nélisse) is adopted by a German couple (OSCAR® Winner Geoffrey Rush* and OSCAR® Nominee Emily Watson). Although she arrives illiterate, Liesel is encouraged to learn to read by her adoptive father. When the couple then takes in Max (Ben Schnetzer), a Jew hiding from Hitler’s army, Liesel befriends him. Ultimately, words and imagination provide the friends with an escape from the events unfolding around them in this extraordinary, acclaimed film directed by Brian Percival (Downton Abbey).



The Blu-ray special features include:
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Deleted Scenes
  • A Hidden Truth: Bringing The Book Thief to Life
    • An Inspirational History
    • Finding the Thief and Her Family
    • Bringing the Past to Life
    • The Legend and the Music

I watched a bit of A Hidden Truth and found out some things I didn't know about the movie, like how Sophie Nélisse, who plays Liesel, was chosen out of tons of actresses who auditioned - and she had actually only been in two movies before this one. Also, the author of the novel (Markus Zusak), is actually Australian - I had thought for sure that he was Polish or at least European, based on his last name and the subject matter (WWII) of the novel.

Sophie Nélisse was also trying to train for gymnastics (she wanted to go to the Olympics) before being chosen for the part, and Ben Schnetzer, who plays Max, was in his final year at drama school when he was cast in the film.

The story of The Book Thief is not so farfetched, but it's one that's unusual because of its narrator (Death itself), and it has translated well to the big screen - I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars and a "Yes" review on my film blog.

3 comments:

  1. It was such a powerful book I wondered how well it would translate to the screen. I always love the extras in DVDs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it translated very well. I always forget how nice the picture is on Blu-rays too since I mostly buy DVDs (cheaper) - this one is great.

      Delete
  2. I read this book and loved it. So sad though!

    ReplyDelete

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