If ever there were a movie for book lovers, this might be it.
“The Book Thief,” which opens in limited release Nov. 8 and wide release Nov. 15, is attracting buzz from bibliophiles everywhere.
It’s an adaptation of the 2006 novel by Markus Zusak and its release has been promoted with a flurry of literary-themed teasers.
First there was this provocative promotional short for the film. “Just for a moment, imagine what the world would be like without words,” says young actress Sophie Nelisse. “Without words, the world is nothing but a blank page.”
On Wednesday, Fox, the studio releasing the film, ran two full-page ads in the New York Times that were mystifyingly blank pages with only the paper’s logo and the URL wordsarelife.com, a promotional page for the film.
And now an international trailer has been released which gives more of a glimpse into the movie's story. (Check out the full video.)
And it’s already being called an Oscar contender, earning comparisons to such dramas as “The Reader” and “The Pianist.”
“The Book Thief” is about an orphan girl named Liesel who is adopted by a German couple during WWII. When her classmates discover Liesel cannot read, she is bullied at school. Her kind adoptive father teaches her to read, setting her up for a lifetime of reading – and of stealing books, beginning with the book she grabbed from a laborer’s coat when it fell at her brother’s funeral, “The Gravedigger’s Handbook.”
When Liesel daringly rescues a book from a bonfire of “decadent” works at a Nazi rally, a local Buergermeister’s wife clandestinely allows the girl to use her late son’s personal library.
When Liesel’s adoptive parents take in a Jewish boy hiding from the Nazis, Liesel forges a strong bond with him. We also see Nazi Germany from the tender perspective of a curious child.
Ultimately, however, with the chilling backdrop of Nazi Germany providing a grim reminder, the movie, as the Los Angeles Times wrote, is about the power of words, both good and bad.
Husna Haq is a Monitor correspondent.