The order of first business is, of course, read the book. The Book Thief is Markus Zusak’s bestselling young adult novel from 2007. Last year, Audrey read it and insisted I read it, too. I’m so happy I did.
Now, assuming that you’ve read the book, go see the movie. Geoffrey Rush is spectacular in the film, which I’ve now seen twice and continued to cry, both times, long after the final credits rolled.
I wrote my first movie review for CT’s women’s blog on The Book Thief, and you can read it here. I’ll honestly say that I don’t know the least thing about writing movie reviews, but I felt I had to write about this film, if only to help myself understand why it had resonated so deeply with me.
In fact, I’ll be so bold as to say this: I left the theatre with this thought. I understand the Incarnation better now.
Here’s a glimpse at my review:
“We have plenty of other films, like Inside Llewyn Davis, which do their due diligence with human depravity. (“We are, as a species, ridiculous: vain, ugly, selfish and self-deluding,”concludes the New York Times’ movie critic from the newest Coen brothers’ film.) Instinctively, we recognize the worst in ourselves, and this lends an immediate believability to horror.
But glory? Humans as glorious? Empirically, we can verify this less frequently. In fact, we may only know it to be true because the Scriptures insist on the work of the glorious Man-God, whose suffering is meant for restoring each of us to our (derivative) glory (Heb. 2:10).
The Book Thief takes a human being and makes him glorious, and this is its important contribution. Perhaps it spares us too gently of history’s horrors. But then again, maybe it reminds us less who we are and more who we are becoming.
And in the Christian story, glory is no less credible than infamy.”