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Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013

Film Clips: Nov. 19

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The Book Thief PG-13

Orphan Liesel (Sophie Nélisse) becomes something of an activist when her adoptive German parents (Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson) shelter a Jewish refugee beneath their stairs. Liesel steals books slated for burning by the Nazi regime, which she then shares with other secretly rebellious citizens. “Downton Abbey’s” Emmy-winning Brian Percival takes his seat in the director’s chair for this period drama. Rush and Watson add depth and flair to this depiction, but it’s Nélisse who carries the film with her touching performance as an extremely thoughtful heroine. (Lisa Miller)

 

Delivery Man PG-13

Nearly 20 years after donating to a fertility clinic, delivery truck driver David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn) learns he’s the sperm donor for 533 children, 142 of whom have filed a lawsuit to learn his identity. Overwhelmed by the prospect of coming forward, Wozniak decides to reveal himself to just one of his progeny, beginning an incredible journey of discovery. Coincidentally, Wozniak also learns that his policewoman girlfriend (Cobie Smulders) is pregnant. Canadian director Ken Scott remakes his French language comedy Starbuck for the American market—the equivalent of giving birth to fraternal movie twins. (L.M.)

 

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire PG-13

President Snow (Donald Sutherland) makes a surprise visit to District 12, where he informs last year’s Hunger Games winners, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), they are competing in this year’s Hunger Games, along with other former winners. Having outwitted the game-makers last time around, Katniss and Peeta know they are targeted for death this time. Game training and interview rounds begin anew, as it becomes clear these games will be the most fantastic and treacherous competition yet. Adapted from the second book in a trilogy of young adult novels by Suzanne Collins, the film’s special effects are top notch. Readers will be pleased with this faithful recreation, which remains comprehensible even to adult non-readers. (L.M.)

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