The Book Thief – 7/10.

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Death tells a story.

The Book Thief is a pretty conventional world war two story in the vein of The boy with the striped pajamas, Schindler’s List, The Pianist etc etc but it also makes some really unconventional decisions. For example TBF is narrated by that old joker the Grim Reaper. There is no explanation for this it is just a thing. Also the decision to have the characters speak in English is fine (it is set in Germany) but you can’t then just have them randomly speak German as well from time to time. It is an engaging and well acted story however. Director Brian Percival has quite a lot going on but the story never feels rushed. Emily Watson plays that same strong headed matriarch she so often plays but when she is so good you can’t really begrudge her it. More impressive is the excellent Geoffrey Rush who not only makes a marvellous villainous pirate but also a charming father figure here. Relative unknown Sophie Nelisse is impressively strong through out, fellow child actor Nico Liersch however is enthusiastic but completely out of his depth. The Book Thief is a steady if unremarkable addition to an already swollen genre but I would say it is worth watching once.

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