Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common.
When I began as a film critic, Jean-Luc Godard was widely thought to have reinvented the cinema with "Breathless" (1960). An interview with Phil Hopkins, founder of the Blu-ray restoration label The Film Detective.
If you go to a bookstore looking for Markus Zusak's novel, the movie's source, you're likely be directed to the Young Adult or Teen Fiction sections, which explains a lot about the movie's appeal, and lack thereof. The Book Thief centers around the life of Liesel Meminger, a nine-year-old girl living in Germany during World War II. After her brother's death, Liesel arrives in a distraught state at the home of her new foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Born sometime in February 1929[1], the protagonist of the story, she is an adopted girl on the verge of adolescence, with blonde hair that "was a close enough brand of German blonde" and a "smile that was starving" when she very rarely showed it. Liesel's foster father and husband of Rosa, Hans was veteran of World War I, an accordion player, and a handyman. Rosa Hubermann, on the other hand, was a tough, harsh lady always abusing and scolding Liesel, but with the arrival of Max Vandenberg, was a Jew who sought refuge from the Nazi in Hubermann household, we see a different, motherly side of Rosa.
The novel shows that being from a different class or society doesn’t mean you can’t still be family.
In contrast to her prior reluctance to adopt her foster parents, by the end of The Book Thief Liesel cannot imagine her life without them. While some observers might say that line was crossed long ago, others may find that conclusive proof arrives in Brian Percival's "The Book Thief," based on an international bestseller that The New York Times jibed as "Harry Potter and the Holocaust." Here, of course, the kind of pornography that's meant isn't erotic (there are only coy glimmers of that) but sentimental – historic horror enlisted in the cause of facile fantasy. Like a kid-friendly mulch of elements cribbed from "The Diary of Anne Frank" and "Slaughterhouse-Five," the film conceivably could play well to an audience of 12-year-olds and their grandparents. You will receive a weekly newsletter full of movie-related tidbits, articles, trailers, even the occasional streamable movie. Liesel's experiences are narrated by Death, who describes both the beauty and destruction of life in this era.
During her time there, she is exposed to the horror of the Nazi regime and struggles to find deal with the ever worsening conditions of World War 2. It was never directly mentioned in the book, but her biological father was a Communist was most likely sent to a concentration camp for his political beliefs.
He develops a close and loving relationship with Liesel, and becomes a source of strength and support for her throughout the novel. To supplement the household income, she provides a laundry service for households in Molching.


The support she gets from Hans Hubermann, her foster father who she calls Papa neutralizes whatever abuse and scolding she gets from Rosa Hubermann, her Mama. Max Vandenburg quickly became an integral part of the German family although his existence under the roof threatened their own safety.
However, the text can’t be used as a part of your own and submitted to your professor – it will be considered as plagiarism. Other adults, though, are more apt to find the proceedings an occasion for fits of squirming and eye-rolling. As the political situation in Germany deteriorates, her foster parents hide a Jewish man named Max, putting the family in danger.
Liesel and her brother were being sent to a foster home because her mother was not able to take care of them. It is this book and the nightmare about her dead brother that helped her bond with Hans Hubermann who would read to her and play his accordion for her. Ilsa Hermann, the Mayor’s wife and the victim of Liesel’s book thieving endeavors, hailed from the elite class while the Hubermanns were dirt poor. This is a manifestation of how the German families gained strength from each other and remained resilient in the face of Nazi attempt to recast German society in its own image.
This is the movie, after all, that's narrated by Death, a device that you can imagine possibly working in a Hollywood film of the '30s or '40s, but hardly since.
Together, the two help each other with reading and write all the words they learn on a wall in the basement. It is through Liesel, the protagonist, that the idea of a broken family during the era of Nazi Germany is explored. He would comfort her when she woke up screaming from the nightmares and stay with her the whole night. Although not a word is spoken between the two, she develops as a motherly character in the later part of the book, understanding Liesel’s attachment to the books. What's the Grim Reaper doing here, besides nudging along the exposition and dropping ironic bon mots?
Obviously, he serves a purpose much akin to that of the movie's impeccably costumed but barely differentiated Nazis: to attempt giving some thematic ballast to a tale so wispy and ungrounded that otherwise it might float away.
Her brother, Werner, her sole connection to her previous life cannot make it through the journey.
The center of that fiction is Liesel (Sophie Nelisse), one of those spunky young heroines that keep the Young Adult industry afloat.
The only souvenir left to her is The Grave Digger’s Handbook that she steals from her brother’s funeral.


When Death first introduces her, in 1938, she is on the run with a fugitive mother and a little brother who dies in the first scene.
Soon after, Mom vanishes over the horizon and Liesel is taken in by a good-hearted provincial couple, kindly Hans (Geoffrey Rush) and crusty-but-lovable Rosa (Emily Watson). Why would this couple, who barely have enough to eat, take in an unknown child to care for? Such are the questions the movie ignores as it gallops along to history's accelerating drumbeat. Here's another: How is it that Liesel, mocked by her new schoolmates for being illiterate, quickly morphs not just into a reader but one so adept and voracious that she's soon swiping books from the local burgermeister's library?
And of course, the Nazis hate books, as they demonstrate by burning a heap in the town square. Our heroine's bookishness, meanwhile, is mainly a source of bemusement to Rudy (Nico Liersh), the flaxen-haired neighbor boy who befriends and dotes on her. In a different, more reality-based movie, their relationship would be a coming-of-age romance. But though the characters here age from 13 to 17 during the story, at the end they look exactly like the barely pubescent kids they were when it started, and the troubling excitements of eros never arise. That ostensibly strange fact is perhaps explained less by the obvious constraints of filming the same actors in a short production schedule than by the have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too logic that guides so many fantasy narratives. In this realm, people supposedly grow up, yet at the same time remain magically innocent and unchanged. Likewise, history: the mean old Nazis hound Max and march sad-looking Jews down the street, but we never see what happens to those Jews—they remain vaguely wistful images divorced from the cruel reality of their corporeal fates. While director Percival ("Downton Abbey") elicits estimable performances from his cast, especially Nelisse, Rush and Watson, the visible world he embeds them in looks like a set from an old studio movie or a '50s TV sitcom.
Heaven Street, the provincial thoroughfare is called, and its airbrushed quaintness is as dreamily reassuring as John Williams' score, despite (or because of?) the heavily fetishized Nazi flags that seem to festoon every available inch of screen space.
But Liesel undergoes no discernible transformation, and that seems to be the point: History may be awful, but a young heroine's spunkiness can overcome anything. Thus does actual tragedy get reduced to the role of kitschy backdrop, a transposition of true obscenity.



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