The Book Thief

Oscar Predictions 2014: Original Score

Unlike a singular song, a film’s score stays with a narrative from beginning to end, helping to reinforce the emotions on screen and round out the overall feeling and impression of a film. It is a delicate balance and it is the scores which are able to make an impression, without distracting from the film itself, that rise to the top to become the scores that are remembered long after a film ends. The nominees for Best Original Score this year are a combination of familiar names (John Williams, Alexandre Desplat, Thomas Newman) along with some new ones (Steven Price, William Butler, Owen Pallett). The five films these scores are nominated from are powerful stories about people dealing with extraordinary situations from fighting for love, family, stories, even one’s own life. The music in each of these films is an incredibly important element as it helps give each story the weight it deserves. Williams, Desplat, and Newman are distinguished talents who have proven their staying power over the years and helped elevate their respective films thanks to their music whereas the scores from Price, Butler, and Pallett are not only from newer voices, they are attached to two films that pushed the envelope when it came to visual style and narrative approach. We review the five nominees and predict who we think will win in red…

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The Book Thief

“If your eyes could speak, what would they say?” So postulates Max, a young Jewish refugee seeking shelter in Liesel’s house during WWII. It’s a pretty big question to ask a little girl, but as the trailer for Brian Percival‘s The Book Thief suggests, just her mere presence changes the lives of everyone in that small German town forever. Liesel (Sophie Nélisse) is sent to live with new parents (Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson) after losing her own family in the middle of WWII. Fitting in as a new girl in a town full of Nazis is clearly hard, but spirited little Liesel learns to cope with a combination of her fists, and through the magic of the written word. Bonding with Papa Geoffrey Rush and Max (Ben Schnetzer) are fun as well. It’s still a little unclear from the trailer exactly what it is that Liesel does to “transform the lives of everyone around her,” as the official synopsis states. Does she incite a revolution? Is it just her precociousness? The Book Thief is an adaptation of a best-selling novel, so my answer is probably there, but I’m not looking to spoil anything. Check out the trailer for yourself here:

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Told from Death’s perspective, a young girl is taken into foster care in Munich after her mother is imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp for being a Communist.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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