–In my job, I am always finding humans at their best and their worst. I see their ugliness and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both.-
This movie was PERFECT.
I read the book a couple years ago, early in 2013. I had heard of it from a friend of mine, who loaned it to me after I found her short description of it interesting.
So I read the book, and I found it very intriguing. I loved how it was from death’s perspective. It was a really creative way to tell the story of a young girl in Nazi Germany with a troubled life and a fascination with books.
It took me awhile to finish the book (I don’t remember quite how long, but it was before I became re-obsessed with reading), but almost as soon as I closed the cover, the movie came out, suddenly and without warning, as if I’d went ahead and ordered it. But it wasn’t until this month that I finally got around to watching it. I was a little concerned about how it would be because far too often a movie loses most of its quality when it’s made into a film, but this movie did not disappoint in the least. It was as if the book was the script. Of course, a few scenes were left out, but they didn’t take away from the story at all, and the movie held every valuable detail necessary to keep the plot moving forward. This movie is a book lover’s filmmaking dream come true.
I was especially grateful that the character of death wasn’t left out of the movie. It would have been a good enough story without him, but he was the reason I had read the book in the first place, and it joyed me to no end to have him as part of the movie as well.
I loved the actors chosen for Rudy and Max ~ I think they were perfect, and they portrayed their characters exactly as they were in the book. I hate it when a character’s hair color is changed, or some detail like that that has no real effect on the storyline and appears to have been changed just for the actor’s convenience, but means all the world to the fans. This was not the case in the Book Thief. All of the characters, to my memory (I DID read the book two years ago, remember) were exactly as I had envisioned them when I read the book.
I think Max was my favorite character in the movie, though I think Rudy might have been my favorite in the book. Anyway, I loved them both, and it’s really hard to pick a favorite. The guy who played Max might have been the same actor who played Adam in Doctor Who, but I’m not sure. I liked him better as Max.
I didn’t realize it when I read the book, but most of Liesel’s closest companions are male: Hans, Rudy, and Max. Only Rose and the woman with the books that I can’t remember the name of are female, and though they’re important characters in the story, they aren’t Liesel’s closest confidantes. I liked to see male-female interaction without it going all romantic and disgusting. I hate it when movies and books do that.
I wish I would have reviewed the book as well, but I didn’t have a blog back then. I always feel a tremor of intense joy when I watch a movie made from a book and recognize parts of the book in the movie, and this film was wrought with them. I like how the plot wasn’t warped. Death spoke a lot more in the book, naturally, but then, so did everyone else. I like how the people who were supposed to die actually died. That might be a harsh thing to say, but it’s true, and I bet other bookies out there would agree with me.
Another thing I loved about this story was Liesel’s love of reading. I am a reader too (as you can easily tell by the book reviews I’ve written) and I find great beauty in words. Liesel had her “dictionary” (which was really just a wall covered in the words she’d learned) in the basement, and she read with Hans and Max, and she wrote for herself as well, and she stole books to read just as she had in the book, and told stories in the cellars when the bombs were falling. Max taught her to use pretty words by telling her to “Make the words yours. If your eyes could speak, what would they say?”
I loved that the movie was set where it was supposed to be set, and that the actors didn’t have American accents even though they were supposed to be German. They were German, and they were in Germany, and they had German accents, and they sometimes spoke in German which was a little bit annoying because I watched the movie online and it didn’t have subtitles. But still, I’m grateful for the accuracy.
I wish I could talk forever about this movie and how brilliant it was, but I think you’ve got the main idea. It was so fantastically done it was as though they had plucked it from my mind as I was reading the book and simply placed it on screen for the world to see. They did leave out one part about apples, but I understand the reasoning and I’m okay with it.
I thought I had something else I was going to mention. Honestly, though, this movie was truly a work of art, and if I was going to rate it, I would give it all the stars at my disposal. It’s probably the only one where if you had to write a book report on it, you COULD just watch the movie and go off of that. It was really just exceptionally done, and I would watch it again in a heartbeat.
–“I’m not lost to you, Liesel. You’ll always be able to find me in your words. That’s where I’ll live on.”–