Movie: The Book Thief
What it’s up for: Original Music (Score)

Nazi movies will probably always exist and for that, I am glad. Not only do they provide easy antagonists and gripping storylines, but they cause us to reflect on real events in our history. Because of that, what happened in Europe during the Nazi regime will never be forgotten.

The Book Thief kind of slid in and out of theaters without much fanfare. To be honest, it wasn’t the most groundbreaking film but it was a good watch. It’s based on a book, which I haven’t read, but I was able to go see the movie with someone who had read the book. She thought there were some differences in how the movie felt compared to the book but she enjoyed watching it. As someone unfamiliar with the story, I enjoyed watching it too.

The story revolves around a little girl, Liesl, who is adopted by a family during the Nazi uprising. Her mother had to give her up because of an unclear reason – but something to do with the Nazi influence on her homeland. Throughout the movie, she is raised as a Nazi youth and then begins to discover the truth about what this regime actually stands for through revelations about her mother, her family’s encounter with a Jewish man, and her relationship with her best friend, Rudy.

The girl and boy who play Liesl (Sophie Nélisse) and Rudy (Nico Liersch) are fantastic in this movie. They both have great range and really hold their own throughout everything that unfolds. Geoffrey Rush and  Emily Watson play Liesl’s adoptive parents, Hans and Rosa. They both also give marvelous and memorable performances. The cast overall is very strong and they are all very intriguing characters.

Overall, it’s an enjoyable enough movie to watch. It had some shortcomings in the plot which left things unexplained. I liked that they went back and forth between using subtitles and speaking English because it made it feel like you were listening in on German conversations. John Williams’ score was great and I thought it sounded more unique than some of his other stuff he’s made recently. John Williams is one of my all-time favorite composers, but sometimes, he doesn’t diversify enough between different films. This felt different though. I don’t think it was more memorable than the score for Saving Mr. Banks or more impactful than the score for Gravity.

I don’t think he’ll win this year.