(2013) (Sophie Nelisse, Geoffrey Rush) (PG-13)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Drama: A formerly illiterate girl uses books to help her and others cope with the spread of xenophobia in her Nazi controlled German town at the onset of WWII.
- It's the late 1930s and Liesel Meminger (SOPHIE NELISSE) is a young, illiterate girl whose younger brother has just died onboard a train as they were headed to a small German town to live with their new foster parents, Hans (GEOFFREY RUSH) and Rosa Hubermann (EMILY WATSON).
While the latter is the stern breadwinner of the family via her laundering of locals' clothes, including those owned by Ilsa Hermann (BARBARA AUER), the wife of the local Burgomeister, Hans is a quieter painter who treats Liesel with respect and helps her learn how to read and write. Her illiteracy initially brings about ridicule from the likes of a bully classmate, Franz Deutscher (LEVIN LIAM), but neighbor boy and fellow classmate Rudy Steiner (NICO LIERSCH) befriends the newcomer, although his desire to be like African-American runner Jesse Owens doesn't sit well with his father or others.
As time passes by, Liesel -- who's found something of an unlikely ally in Ilsa who has a similar love for books -- gets to put her new literacy to work in the form of telling stories and later reading books to Max Vandenburg (BEN SCHNETZER). He's a young Jewish man who's taken refuge in the Hubermann basement where he hopes to avoid detection by the local Nazis. With the onset of WWII and the ever-increasing xenophobia among the townsfolk, it's uncertain if he or those harboring him will be safe.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- Despite starring a bunch of kids (as well as adults), it's unlikely considering the subject matter and setting (unless they're fans of the source novel and/or anyone in the cast).
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
- For some violence and intense depiction of thematic material.
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