Based on Markus Zusak’s best-selling novel, ‘The Book Thief’ tells the story of a spirited and courageous young girl sent to live with a foster family in Nazi Germany and who discovers the love of books.
French-Canadian newcomer Sophie Nélisse, 13, has won critical acclaim including a Hollywood Film Award for her role as young Liesel Meminger.
The young actress said: “I had to watch a lot of movies like ‘Schindler’s List’ or ‘The Pianist’ or all these great movies about the Holocaust. I just had nothing to say. How could people let this happen?”
“I really felt like I had to do the movie. Because people my age, my generation, don’t know anything about it, and I want that in 40 years or 100 years people still know what happened.”
Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others, including a Jewish refugee sheltered under the stairs of her home by her adoptive parents.
Geoffrey Rush, who plays her adoptive father, said the movie is faithful to the novel: “Sometimes when books get adapted they change it for some reason, like they rewrite the ending or merge characters. I feel pretty certain the fan base is not going to be disappointed.”
Also starring Emily Watson as Liesel’s adoptive mother, the film has won the lead actors critical praise for their performances. But it has received mixed reviews, with some critics calling it a disappointment and emotionally flat. Some deplored the film, saying it doesn’t do the book justice.
‘The Book Thief’ is on worldwide release from now.