Monday, January 5, 2009

The Reader

Go see this movie! Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes star in an adaptation of the bestselling German (Swiss) novel of the same name by Bernhard Schlink. Here's the description from Oprah's Book Club selection:
Originally published in Switzerland, and gracefully translated into English by Carol Brown Janeway, The Reader is a brief tale about sex, love, reading, and shame in postwar Germany. Michael Berg is 15 when he begins a long, obsessive affair with Hanna, an enigmatic older woman. He never learns very much about her, and when she disappears one day, he expects never to see her again. But, to his horror, he does. Hanna is a defendant in a trial related to Germany's Nazi past, and it soon becomes clear that she is guilty of an unspeakable crime. As Michael follows the trial, he struggles with an overwhelming question: What should his generation do with its knowledge of the Holocaust? "We should not believe we can comprehend the incomprehensible, we may not compare the incomparable.... Should we only fall silent in revulsion, shame, and guilt? To what purpose?"

Kate Winslet plays Hanna, and Ralph Fiennes plays the grown-up Michael, who is featured mostly in the last third of the movie. Kate Winslet's performance is exquisite and subtle in a role that is not always sympathetic or attractive. Fiennes nicely portrays the conflicting motivations of Berg. The younger Michael, who is on screen for most of the movie, is well played by David Kross. Stephen Daldry directed. (He also directed The Hours, a beautiful movie.) I've always liked Kate Winslet and I admit to having a bit of a thing for Ralph Fiennes (even when he was playing an SS commandant in "Schindler's List"); I think it's the eyes.

Official Movie website Trailer:

The Reader on

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