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The Book Thief
(2013)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Sony Classical
(November 19th, 2013)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
Awards
AWARDS
Nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA Award.
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ALSO SEE




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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you long for the subtle, sentimental complexities of yesteryear in your film scores, John Williams' continued mastery of understatement from a child's perspective an art form extremely rare in today's film industry.

Avoid it... if Williams' quiet dramatic ambience, allowed only a handful of cues with full ensemble depth, cannot sustain your interest even if you respect his methods and continued production.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,032
WRITTEN 12/28/13
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Williams
Williams
The Book Thief: (John Williams) As one should expect, there is heartbreak and contemplation at the core of Markus Zusak's novel, "The Book Thief," and that solemn character carries over to the 2013 cinematic adaptation of the same name. Set in Germany in the years leading up to and including World War II, The Book Thief is the tale of a young girl's perseverance as she joins a pair of foster parents who, in secrecy, reject the rise of the Nazis by promoting literacy and housing a Jewish boy in their basement to protect him. The girl becomes a reading fanatic and draws attention for her theft of a book from a bonfire, as well as her compassion for everyone she meets. Narrated by the Angel of Death, the story has bittersweet redemption at it conclusion, but not before the loss of life is extensive. The arthouse film was met with only muted praise from critics but enjoyed a surprisingly robust reaction from audiences and awarding groups, its cause buoyed in part by its tender, evocative score by maestro John Williams. The composer had only worked with Steven Spielberg or George Lucas since 2004, and his involvement in Brian Percival's The Book Thief is owed to Williams' love of the book; upon learning of its start of production for the screen, he actively sought the assignment. The 81-year-old has, over the previous three years, shown no deterioration of his skills. Despite writing music with pencil and paper at his piano as he has always done, Williams continues to demonstrate the ability to capture the essence of a story through lyrical means, even if the tone of his music is understated. There are intricacies to Williams' techniques that continue to elude the younger generation of composers, an ability take a single extended whole note for strings and use its slowly building and diminishing pulsations to convey a range of emotions within that note. Few composers have the knack to express so much with a restrained orchestral ensemble, but Williams has been doing it for most of his career, and do not be surprised if The Book Thief transports you back to the composer's era of 1970's and 1980's subtle drama, though Angela's Ashes remains a more recent exploration of the same general sound. From Jane Eyre to The River, this style of Williams' character development has a rich history in cinema, and to hear it once again as the world approaches the mid-2010's is simply astonishing. Time is of no consequence in the effectiveness of this kind of music, Williams defying all current conventions of film scoring with quietly soaring results. It is yet another instance in which the maestro will receive significant attention during the awards season, a truly rare sentimental throwback.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
365 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.64 Stars
***** 98 5 Stars
**** 121 4 Stars
*** 84 3 Stars
** 44 2 Stars
* 18 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
2 TOTAL COMMENTS
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FVSR Reviews The Book Thief
Brendan Cochran - August 10, 2014, at 9:45 a.m.
1 comment  (847 views)
The book thief and the late 90th
Jan Kliemann - January 4, 2014, at 3:24 a.m.
1 comment  (1381 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 52:36
• 1. "One Small Fact" (1:46)
• 2. The Journey to Himmel Street (1:48)
• 3. New Parents and a New Home (1:33)
• 4. Ilsa's Library (2:21)
• 5. The Snow Fight (1:01)
• 6. Learning to Read (2:48)
• 7. Book Burning (2:52)
• 8. "I Hate Hitler!" (2:06)
• 9. Max and Liesel (1:11)
• 10. The Train Station (2:16)
• 11. Revealing the Secret (4:11)
• 12. Foot Race (1:20)
• 13. The Visitor at Himmel Street (2:02)
• 14. Learning to Write (2:07)
• 15. The Departure of Max (2:32)
• 16. "Jellyfish" (2:08)
• 17. Rescuing the Book (1:55)
• 18. Writing to Mama (2:42)
• 19. Max Lives (1:31)
• 20. Rudy is Taken (2:00)
• 21. Finale (2:48)
• 22. The Book Thief (7:05)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes a list of performers but no extra information about the score or film.
Copyright © 2013-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from The Book Thief are Copyright © 2013, Sony Classical and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 12/28/13 (and not updated significantly since).
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