February 27, 2014 6:02 pm

Film review – The Book Thief

Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson are a German wartime couple sheltering a young Jew
Sophie Nélisse in 'The Book Thief'

Sophie Nélisse in 'The Book Thief'

In The Book Thief the actors resemble invitees at their own funerals. How depressing it is when a project with honourable intent, about a wartime German couple and their adopted daughter sheltering a young Jew, shapes into standard-issue hokum, bleeding heart variety. Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson battle to give the story’s am-dram gloom some actorly incandescence. But the script is pedestrian, the direction likewise. And since the story is essentially Anne Frank re-gendered, why bother at all? Fiction, in some arenas of history, can never measure up to fact.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2015. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.

Life & Arts on Twitter

More FT Twitter accounts