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The Reader
- Kate Winslet

Overview - Though THE READER may boast the typical pedigree of a Holocaust film--acclaimed actors, a literary source, and an Oscar-baiting end-of-the-year release date--this drama has a significant difference: it focuses on a perpetrator, rather than the victims.  Read more...

 
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More About The Reader - Kate Winslet
 
 
 
Overview

Though THE READER may boast the typical pedigree of a Holocaust film--acclaimed actors, a literary source, and an Oscar-baiting end-of-the-year release date--this drama has a significant difference: it focuses on a perpetrator, rather than the victims. Kate Winslet takes on the hefty supporting role of Hanna Schmitz, a woman who has an affair with Michael Berg (German actor David Kross), a 15-year-old boy in 1950s Germany. They spend their brief romance alternately making love and focusing on literature, with Michael reading everything from Chekov to Homer to his lover. Soon, Hanna abruptly disappears, and Michael returns to his normal life. Almost a decade later, Michael is studying law, when he sees Hanna again; she is on trial for her crimes as an S.S. guard during the war. Michael is torn between a desire for justice and his knowledge of a secret that may save Hanna. THE READER makes full use of hindsight and historical perspective. Based on the bestselling novel by Bernhard Schlink, the story is framed by an older Michael (Ralph Fiennes) who deals with both his personal history and the collective past--and guilt--of the German people. This is a complex film that doesn't give the audience any easy answers; Hanna is undoubtedly guilty of horrific crimes, but she is a multilayered character who is always fascinating and always human, thanks to the terrific performance of Winslet, who plays Hanna over four decades. Director Stephen Daldry earned an Oscar nomination for his work on another literary adaptation, THE HOURS, and he deserves more praise for this polished film.

Awards:
2009 - Academy Awards - Best Actress Winner

Cast List

Nico Muhly - Composer, JOSHUA (2007)
Ralph Fiennes - British actor, THE ENGLISH PATIENT, SCHINDLER'S LIST
Anthony Minghella - Playwright/Screenwriter/Director
Redmond Morris
Bruno Ganz - German actor, WINGS OF DESIRE
Kate Winslet - Osca-winning British actress, THE READER, TITANIC (1997), ET
Donna Gigliotti - Producer, RESTORATION
Stephen Daldry - BILLY ELLIOT
David Hare - Playwright/Director
Claire Simpson - AMERICAN EDITOR
Claire Simpson-Crozier - AMERICAN EDITOR
Chris Menges - British Director Of Photography/Director, THE BOXER (1997)
Harvey Weinstein - Film producer
Bob Weinstein - Prod./Screenwriter/Director
Robert Weinstein - Prod./Screenwriter/Director
Sydney Pollack - American Director, producer, actor
Brigitte Broch - Production Designer, AMORES PERROS (2000)
David Kross - Actor
Lena Olin - Swedish actress, ALIAS
Bernhard Schlink - Author
Jason Blum - Producer, THE ACCIDENTAL HUSBAND
Roger Deakins - Director of Photography
Matthias Habich
Susanne Lothar - Actress
Jeanette Hain - Actress - THE TRIO

 
Details
    DVD Format
  • Format: DVD
  • Run Time: 124
  • Color Format: Color
  • UPC: 796019819572
  • Genre: Drama
  • Rating: R (MPAA) (Rated R for some scenes of sexuality and nudity.)
  • Release Date: December 2013

Related Categories:
Movies > Dramas

Related Keywords:
Law/Lawyers
Justice
Romance
Thriller
War
World War II
Love Story
Period Piece
Historical
Theatrical Release
Germany
1950s
1960s
20th Century
Based On A Novel

 
Movie Reviews

More Details

Reviews:
3 stars out of 4 -- "[Winslet's] fierce, unerring portrayal goes beyond acting, becoming a provocation that will keep you up nights." - 01/08/2008 Rolling Stone, p.120


"The film is notable for its nice performances, its handsome photography, and its very active music." - 12/19/2008 Entertainment Weekly, p.43


4 stars out of 5 -- "[C]onsidered, articulate, intelligent....Winslet's precise performance is matched every way by Kross, an 18-year-old German actor who manages to convey love, lust and torment with barely a twitch of his fresh, open face." - 01/01/2009 Total Film, p.52


3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Powerfully acted by Winslet and Kross, with Ralph Fiennes coldly enigmatic as the elder Michael." - 12/23/2008 Chicago Sun-Times


"Young Kross impresses with his acting ability. He's able to register multiple emotions and thoughts -- some that are complicated, especially during the trial scenes in the film's middle stretch..." - 12/10/2008 Box Office


3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he performances are outstanding and the subject matter demands respect....Winslet especially brings a great deal to a challenging role..." - 02/01/2009 Empire


"Bernhard Schlink's highly regarded novel THE READER receives a graceful, absorbing screen adaptation by director Stephen Daldry, who conveys a technically and morally complicated story with consummate skill and smoothness." - 12/25/2008 Washington Post

 
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