Movie Review: An adaptation of the novel by Markus Zusak, this nicely told venture is a World War II drama set in Germany. Liesel (Nélisse), a young girl, has a love for books. She steals them, often sharing the books’ words with others. One of the people she shares the books with is Max (Schnetzer), a handsome, young refugee living in her family’s basement. Liesel’s adopted parents, Hans and Rosa (respectively Rush and Watson), help hide the young man from Nazis.
This is tale is about young love, doing what is correct, overcoming obstacles and appreciating books. “Thief” presents a childlike manner at times, including the way the narrator introduces the setting and characters. It starts more like a light fairy tale, but it quickly becomes a fine drama.
Liesel’s story is a grand one. This girl finds herself living a grand adventure during turbulent times in Germany. Her relationship with Max and her parents is moving, although this screenplay relies too heavily on sentimental aspects occasionally.
Yet, one cannot help but like the cast. It is easy to care for them. They did not ask to be in these situations, but they are making the best of bad conditions. They have hope.
Audiences should find that same hope and understanding through a well-acted cast. This exists because Nélisse plays an intriguing character. Her relationships, her parents played nicely by the talented Rush and the incredible Watson, the kindness she shows Max and camaraderie she has with Rudy (Liersch), a next-door neighbor, are fascinating. These associations make the film worth it.
The film also uses natural light in beautiful ways. The colors in some scenes are picturesque moments worth framing. Every shot uses space of sets exceptionally well. This makes the movie a visual treat if nothing else.
This film does not reach its full potential as a war drama, but it provides plenty for those looking for a nice retreat. It displays the notion people of all types matter in our lives. That should mean much for those looking for an inspiring film.
Grade: B (Book seat now to see this.)