Normally, with a book to movie adaptation my husband will watch the movie with me but be a little annoyed the whole way through. Even though he won't admit it publically, he liked Twilight and Beautiful Creatures AND City of Bones…but he still gives me a good eye role or two when I pull out a new movie I want to watch. However, with The Book Thief, he didn't even have a chance to because he was enthralled with it from the opening monologue.
And I know exactly what he was feeling. From second one, the movie is visually stunning and perfectly paced. The actors, particularly Sophie Nélisse seem to have been born to tell you this heartbreaking and important tale of courage and life during WW2.
I was stunned how I disliked some characters from the start, such as Mama (Roasa) and by the mid way point of the movie you see the characters gruff exterior start to chip away to reveal a kind-hearted woman who guards herself with sarcasm and a strict household. Unbelievable character development was just a sweet addition to this amazing movie.
Generally, I have a very hard time, emotionally, dealing with any movies that touch on WW2. When I was 14 I visited concentration camps and the memory and feeling has carried with me every single day since. I can't get through a movie that even mentions WW2 with out a minor meltdown and day of depression afterward.THE BOOK THIEF did not have this effect on me, and since I know that the day I spent in those places will never leave me, I have to say it was the fantastic way the tale is told. And not just one tale – but many all wound together all which intersect time and time again. This has become one of my all time favorite movies, and I can't say enough about it.
Now, if you've not yet seen this – I warn you fully to get the tissues ready. I want to tell you it has a happy ending, and in some ways depending on the angle in which you look at things, it does. But you will still cry. And it will be an ugly cry.
Don't borrow or rent this, buy it. It's a gem you need to own – right along with the book.