The Book Thief

Despite an intriguing premise and a promising cast (including Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson), the first U.S. trailer for The Book Thief wasn’t really very appealing. The focus was murky, the sentimentality was laid on thick, and a cheesy voiceover instantly cheapened the whole thing. Worse, there wasn’t even any book-thieving. Glimpses of book-holding and book-reading, yes, but not a single moment to explain the film’s title.

The new U.K. trailer immediately proves itself superior by opening with a scene of its heroine Liesel (Sophie Nélisse) swiping a volume from a book-burning rally. And it only gets better from there. It’s still an inspirational drama set in Nazi Germany, but the uplift feels earned this time, and the characters have far more personality. Check out the new promo after the jump, and let us know if you agree.

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The Book Thief

Around this point in the year, it becomes possible to see, in broad strokes, how the upcoming awards season might shape up. The studios have set their release calendars, the most promising titles have hit the festival circuit or are just about to, and several buzzed-about flicks have already put out full-length trailers for general consumption.

But even so, there are always a few pics that seemingly come out of nowhere to join the fray. This year’s dark horse could be The Book Thief, directed by Brian Percival (Downton Abbey) and starring Sophie Nélisse, Geoffrey Rush, and Emily Watson. While we haven’t heard much about it up to this point, it seems to have all the hallmarks of an awards-season favorite.

Based on a New York Times bestseller (check), The Book Thief follows the uplifting tale (check) of a young girl and her foster parents in Nazi Germany (double check). The only way this could sound more Oscar-friendly would be if her big obsession was movies (a la Hugo) instead of books. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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