The Reader - 2008 (R)


Year of Release: 2008
Rated: R
Director: Stephen Daldry
Approx. Running Time: 124 minutes
Format(s): DVD
My Rating: 4 Stars (Out Of 5)


From Back Cover:

"A Masterpiece"
-Rex Reed, New York Observer

Academy Award winner Kate Winslet (Revolutionary Road) delivers a dynamic performance in this "tale of eroticism, secrecy and guilt" (Claudia Puig, USA Today) set in turbulent post-Nazi Germany. Bringing to life the celebrated international novel, Winslet is riveting as Hanna Schmitz - a lonely, working-class woman who experiences a brief but intense affair with a teenage boy. Years later they meet again: Hanna now a defendant in a notorious case and her ex-lover, now a law student, holding the secret to her salvation. Directed by three-time Academy Award nominee Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours) and featuring Ralph Fiennes (The Duchess) as the grown man still reeling from Hanna's influence, The Reader is a "moving, romantic and poignant story" (Roger Friedman, Fox News) about the difficult distance between truth and reconciliation.

My Comments:

I knew this wasn't going to be a cheery film - what with it involving the Holocaust and all - but the movie was heartbreaking in ways I did not expect. Which is to say that my sympathies lay with the character Hanna Schmitz - a former Nazi guard put on trial, along with several other former guards, for the deaths of some 300 Jews. What was so heartbreaking, is that she is accused of being the leader of these guards and is sentenced to serve life, while the others are given only short sentences. But there is a secret she holds, one which would prove that she couldn't possibly have been in charge, yet she is too ashamed to admit it. Kate Winslet is excellent is this role, for which she received a much deserved Academy Award. The other performances are also good, if unremarkable, and the film was overall very moving.

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Rated R (MPAA)
4 Stars
2008 (Year of Release)
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