The Book Thief Blu-ray Review
Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.
Title: The Book Thief [Blu-ray]
Release Date: March 11, 2014 (Blu-ray & DVD), February 25 (Digital HD)
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 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).
Blu-ray Special Features:
- Deleted Scenes
- A Hidden Truth: Bringing The Book Thief to Life
- Theatrical Trailer
DVD Special Features
- Deleted Scenes
- Theatrical Trailer
When The Book Thief ended last night, I had tears in my eyes. It was a beautiful, moving story and now I want to read the book to see how it compares. I was swept away by the story, the characters and the setting of WWII Germany. Most of all, I was captured and moved by the main character, Liesel, a young German girl with a passion for reading.
The story begins with Liesel being adopted by a German couple, Hans and Rosa. You can tell she is nervous and uncomfortable at first, but most of all, sad. Who can blame her though? Her mother can no longer care for her and her younger brother just passed away. Hans, the adoptive father, immediately tries to make Liesel comfortable and a strong father-daughter bond begins to form. I loved watching the two of them interact together. Hans was a kind soul who would do anything for his family and you could tell he was really taken with Liesel.
On the other hand, Rose, the mother, has a hardened edge to her. She always seems like she is angry in her demeanour. Liesel describes her as thunder always grumbling. Underneath that exterior though, we soon see the softer side of Rosa and over the course of the movie, I began to love her character too.
When Liesel first arrives at her new home, we soon discover that she cannot read. Her father teaches her how to read and even makes a dictionary wall in the basement where Liesel can write down new words she has learned. Her passion for books was ignited. I can fully relate to her character because I also had the same passion as a child. When Liesel went into a library her eyes lit up like she’s never seen anything more spectacular in her life. Books were my world as a child too.
I know a little history and the movie seemed to follow closely with what went on during the war. They showed Kristallnacht, “Night of Broken Glass”, Jews going into hiding, bomb shelters and the burning of books in the town square of anything that didn’t fit with the Nazi ideology. It gave us a glimpse as to what life might have been like for Germans living in that time period.
There was one particular scene in the movie where I could feel the panic welling in my stomach. Max, the Jewish son of a friend of Hans, was in hiding in the basement. The Germans were there to “check basements”. I held my breath to see if they would find Max since they had almost no notice of the impending visit.
Not only did I love watching the relationship of father and daughter blossom, but I also enjoyed seeing the bond grow between Liesel and Max. With Max living in the basement and never allowed to leave the house or even go upstairs because he might be seen, Liesel was his only connection to the outside.
The tears were flowing at the end of the film. Even John was emotional. Both of us loved the movie and this is one I wouldn’t mind watching a second time. In fact, I think I’d embrace that opportunity.