'Book Thief' Private Screening Hosted by Bush Family in Texas

Former president George H. W. Bush and wife Barbara were in attendance at the event.

The Book Thief  has snagged the endorsement of a former president. 

George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, presided over a private screening of the World War II-era drama Wednesday in Houston, along with sons Marvin and Neal and 300 guests, 20th Century Fox said in a statement. 

FILM REVIEW: The Book Thief

"I was deeply moved by this truly wonderful movie, which dramatized in a powerful way both the horrors of any war but also the abiding humanity that helped to sustain and save so many against a rising tide of evil so many years ago," the 41st president said of the film. 

"I would have loved this incredible film under any circumstance, but the fact that one of the key plot lines involved a caring adult teaching a precious child to read -- well, that was the icing on the cake. What a painful, tender and ultimately rewarding story, so very well told by all involved," stated Barbara Bush. 

The film's director, Brian Percival, along with cast members Geoffrey Rush and Sophie Nelisse were in attendance at the screening, as was the author of the 2006 book, Markus Zusak.

The Book Thief, set during the time of Nazi Germany, has been marketed as tonally in the same vein as the studio's 2012 Oscar-winning Life of Pi adaptation by Ang Lee.

The film opens in limited release Friday, the same day as the U.S. debut of Marvel sequel Thor: The Dark World.