• Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives









  • Awards & Nominations

Non-Review Review: The Book Thief

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2014.

Any film set in Germany between 1938 and 1945 narrated by death itself is going to feel a little… surreal. As wonderful as Roger Allam’s tones might be, there’s something decidedly unwholesome about the narration of the story told from the perspective of the Grim Reaper, particularly as he recounts a story from his “best of” collection.

The implication is that the life of the eponymous booklifter has touched the Death itself, which feels rather uncomfortable in the context of Nazi Germany. One would imagine that there would be quite a lot of moving and affecting stories to hold our narrator’s attention, without a need to single out one particular story as especially moving.

This is, in essence, the heart of the problem with The Book Thief, an efficient and well-produced – if condescending and tone-deaf – family film exploring the story of one family living in the shadow of Hitler’s Germany. It spends far too long telling us why these protagonists are unique, when the crux of the story seems to be that they are not.

Book her, boys!

She has no shelf-control…

Continue reading