The World War II drama 'The Book Thief' adapted from Markus Zusak's novel, hit theatres this Friday to a mixed reception.
'The Book Thief' is the latest Hollywood film adaptation to hit the big screen. The movie, which is based on the novel of the same name by Australian author Markus Zusak, was released this Friday and it depicts the harrowing time of Germany's Nazi-era. The World War II drama boasts an impressive cast which includes Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, and two upcoming stars, Sophie Nélisse and Ben Schnetzer.
Geoffrey Rush and Sophie Nélisse in 'The Book Thief'
The story follows a young girl called Liesel Meminger (Nélisse) who is first introduced to the audience by sitting next to her bothers gave, who recently died. It is there she discovers a book left behind by the grave-diggers and hides it under her coat.
Meanwhile her mother cannot handle the grief of losing a child and sends Liesel to an orphanage where she is adopted by a German couple (Rush and Watson), but it is her adoptive father, 'Hanz', who teaches Liesel how to read and she falls in love with stories. 'Hanz' hides a Jewish man called Max Vandenburg (Schnetzer) in his basement, and during this period the risk of getting caught harbouring a person of Jewish faith was extremely dangerous.
Liesel reads Books she stole from the library to Max and they grow a strong bond. But as World War II beckons and all their lives change in the years ahead.
What are the critic's views on the heart breaking tale of suffering and oppression?
Richard Corliss of Time Magazine thought the film was "judicious and well-acted, with some fine details of human strength and frailty. But its ultimate asset may be to lead young audiences back to the book"
Justin Criag from Fox News echoed the praise as he stated it was "a beautiful exploration of compassion during war with some truly marvelous performances. A must-see."
Sandie Angulo Chen from Common Sense Media added, the film was an "emotional WWII drama explores loss, literacy, and love."
However other critics viewed the adaptation as dull and uneventful with Blige Ebiri from Vulture commenting, "We keep waiting for something eye-opening, and we rarely get it. By and large, The Book Thief is serviceable, sleek, and stodgy."
'The Book Thief', directed by Brian Percival, was released in US theatres on Friday 8th November 2013.
Sophie Nélisse and Ben Schnetzer in 'The Book Thief'
Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson play Sophie's adoptive parents in the adaptation