by Ruby LaBrusciano-Carris

            This time of year, it’s all any of us can do to get outside when it’s dark and only ten degrees by 4 o’clock, let alone all the way to the blustery, frozen, downtown. One of the few places that has enough cozy appeal to make the hike worthwhile though, is the heated, buttery-smelling, candy-crunching sanctuary of the movie theater. What can I say? When the weather outside is frightful, the movies are so SO delightful…

One of the most recent big-name films that has been released recently is the World War II flick called “The Book Thief”, based on the bestselling novel by Markus Zusak. Set in war-torn Germany in the late 30s and early 40s, “The Book Thief” is the story of a young girl named Liesel, forced to live with strangers after her communist mother has to flee the country under threat from Nazis. It features all the classic plot twists of a good World War II story: a hidden Jew, close calls with the Nazis, and the hours spent with neighbors in bomb shelters. Another dark and oddly fitting aspect of the story, is that it is narrated by the steady and unaggressive voice of Death. In the same way that death would be a constant presence in any warring country, so does Death preside with a quiet melancholy over the entire film.

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Being a movie based off a book, “The Book Thief” is obviously subject to much more criticism than usual, because any avid reader can find something that doesn’t quite fit with his or her own vision of the story in the movie version. On that note, if you have read the book by Markus Zusak, prepare to be a little disappointed with the movie. Although it is an emotionally engaging, suspenseful, and well-produced movie, it does not have the time to create the depths of character or the heartbreaking poignancy that we experienced while reading the book. Even the plot doesn’t have enough time to be fully drawn out.

Luckily, I read the book long enough ago that I was still able to enjoy the movie for what it was, and was only aware of it’s differences with the book when friends told me after. I still ended the movie in a sobbing mess, having been absolutely drawn in by the tragedies in the life of the adorable Liesel, and even more so by her affectionate and quietly charismatic foster father figure called Hans. Hans was brought to life with incredible aptness by the wonderful Geoffrey Rush, who embodied the loving spirit of his character with the ease of slipping into a new coat. These two characters carried the movie along despite any other lacking, and I would not be surprised if either is nominated for an Academy Award in the coming months.

So if you’ve been burnt out on studying and are ready for a break, or if you’re one of the lucky few who have already finished, make the time to head on down to Merrill’s Roxy Cinema to check out “The Book Thief”. Don’t forget to bring your Cats At The Movies ticket too, for a FREE show, good on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday nights!

Each Monday, (or the first school day of the week) The UVM Program Board distributes a limited number of vouchers that are redeemable for a free movie screening Thursday thru Saturday after 6 PM. At 8 AM on Monday morning students can stop by the Department of Student Life’s Office on the 3rd floor of the Dudley H. Davis Center to pick up their FREE “Cats at the Movies Ticket”! Students must present a valid UVM Student ID to receive one voucher redeemable for a free movie at the Roxy Theatre.

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