Loyal readers of Booklover Book Reviews will recall my concerns about much loved books being made into movies, e.g. David Mitchell’s The Cloud Atlas… I still have not watched the movie of the same name, and don’t intend to. But, my experience watching The Book Thief movie this weekend has proven to me that it is possible to do a book justice in film.
Bravo to the creators and cast of The Book Thief movie!
The Book Thief is one of my favourite books of all time (my review), so…
Yes, the cast were generally much better looking than those I’d conjured up in my mind while reading, but that didn’t hurt
Yes, since I knew when the sad parts were coming I was a blubbering mess.
And yes, for the same reasons, I could not stop myself from cataloging what was interpreted slightly differently and what small pieces of the novel were omitted from the screenplay.
But the key thing is, whenever the movie adaption deviated slightly from the novel, I understood and appreciated why. It conveys the key themes powerfully while maintaining much of Zusak’s original artistry. If I could have tweaked one thing, I would have utilised even more of the original narrative musings from Death (some of my favourite passages in the novel).
Wonderful performances by Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson, and you couldn’t get much sweeter (and very talented) portrayals of the characters ‘Leisel’ and ‘Rudy’ by Sophie Nélisse and Nico Liersch.
The mirroring of humanity within The Book Thief is so important (the reason I believe the novel should be required reading in schools) and so I am heartened that this movie adaptation will bring that message to an even wider audience. The friend that I saw the movie with had not read the book but now cannot wait to – what better endorsement can you get…