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.