Tag Archives: Emily Watson

Review: The Book Thief

The_Book_Thief“The Book Thief” celebrates love and life in one sequence and takes it all away in the next, only to come back around to give your heart yet another bruising, but it always does so with purpose, making the film a well-earned flood of emotion.

After being put up for adoption, Liesel Meminger (Sophie Nélisse) is sent to live with Hans and Rosa Hubermann (Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson) in a pre-war German town. Heartbroken over the passing of her brother and her mother’s abandonment, Liesel has difficulty adjusting to her new life until Hans discovers her passion for books and takes it upon himself to teach her to read. Liesel warms up to the Hubermanns and befriends her neighbor Rudy (Nico Liersch), but as the pressure of the Nazi regime bears down on the town, Liesel finds it increasingly difficult to fall in line, especially when the Hubermanns agree to care for the son (Ben Schnetzer) of a Jewish man who saved Hans’ life in the First World War.

Even though Markus Zusak’s book comes with a wealth of cinematic material, “The Book Thief” is a particularly challenging piece to adapt to film. The book takes place over a lengthy period of time during which Liesel begins as a child and winds up a young woman. Nélisse is the film’s one and only Liesel, but thanks to excellent hair, makeup and costume choices, the filmmakers successfully bring her from innocent, frightened girl to knowing young adult over the course of the film’s 127-minute running time.

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Review: War Horse

There’s a reason why Steven Spielberg is so successful; he knows how to make a movie for everyone. Jaws, E.T., Jurassic Park, Catch Me If You Can and more. Sure, not all of them can be considered pristine filmmaking, but still, generally all of his films are incredibly enjoyable and not only does War Horse follow suit in terms of entertainment and emotional value, but quality-wise, it’s certainly on the top tier.

After his pride gets the better of him during an auction, Ted Narracott’s (Peter Mullan) son, Albert (Jeremy Irvine), becomes responsible for making the young horse Joey worth the hefty price his father paid. Albert dedicates every waking hour to Joey, training him to pull a plow so the Narracott’s can get their failing farm back in order and keep them from losing their home. However, just when everything seems to be going to plan, Joey is snatched up by World War I.

Never forgetting Albert’s training and care, Joey goes on to ride with the English army as well as the German army, making additional bonds along the way including British soldier Captain Nicholls (Tom Hiddleston) and a young girl named Emilie (Celine Buckens). Meanwhile, Albert’s distracted from his longing for Joey by the war, getting thrown into battle himself.

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