The Book Thief
genre: historical fiction
The movie stays quite true to the book, which I really appreciated. The cast was not entirely comprised of super models, something I found quite refreshing. Max and Rudy’s father were exactly how I pictured them though Max should have been more scruffy. The reading wall and snowball fight was incredibly well done–two of my favorite moments in the book. It gave a much needed comic relief to an otherwise depressing tale.
There was only one scene where the movie deviated drastically from the book. Liesel keeps Max’s secret through the entire book, but Rudy figures it out in the movie. I had such faith and respect for Liesel in the book that turned to disappointment in the movie. The rest of the changes were subtle and added some tension, especially for any who haven’t read it yet.
Though the movie starts with Death narrating, it switches to a seamless movie with just the date at the bottom of the screen and longer hair telling the passage of time. It was a much smoother experience than the audio book, which I appreciated.
I’d actually forgotten about Max using Hitler’s book, painting over the pages with white and writing his own stories on the pages by the time I wrote the review. There’s a poetic justice in that which is hard to explain if you haven’t read the book.
Ermisenda accused me of potentially being the one in a million person who liked the movie and didn’t like the book. I believe her exact words were, “I don’t know if we can be friends anymore.” It’s a wonderful story that I highly recommend. Even though it wasn’t for me, I still recommend reading the book first. The characters are a little deeper, a little more complete.