Genres: Drama, Romance and Adaptation
Running Time: 2 hr. 2 min.
Release Date: December 12th, 2008 (limited)
MPAA Rating: R for some scenes of sexuality and nudity.
Distributors: The Weinstein Company
Directed by: Stephen Daldry
JJ Rating: B
Michael Berg (Ralph Fiennes) goes down memory lane to when he was younger (David Kross) and he met an older woman by the name of Hanna (Kate Winslet) who he has a summer affair with. Sex and reading was what fun he had with her. Then years later while he is studying to be a lawyer he runs into her again at the Nazi war crime trials. The Reader.
I’m sort of sick of long movies. I don’t know who these people think they are in making movies that last longer than my attention span but they need to work on it.
David Kross and Ralph Fiennes were average. But what made The Reader bearable and amazing and a B instead of a D is Kate Winslet. She is astounding. She is subtle in her acting and it just blows me away. Her eyes watering, her movements, her breathing, her staring, her talking, her silence…she’s just remarkable. Her performance is nothing short of magical. She shoulders the entire film and I would have been beaten to death with logs of boredom if it were not for her. I thank her. I thank her kindly.
Sex scenes are for porn. They really are. I have yet to actually see a scene that is for a movie that is about sex be worthy. Someone else having sex within my visual sight isn’t beautiful. It’s creepy. Nudity is only natural if you want to sneak a peek and therefore use that term so you don’t look nor sound dirty. But if you are interested breast, butt and penis are shown. And if that’s the only reason you’re going then I’m sure someone has the screen shots up online somewhere.
The story is rather simple. But just like Seven Pounds it takes what is a great idea and draws it out so much that it becomes thin and pointless at times. It’s like putty. When it’s small and in a ball it’s pretty tough but then you start to pull it apart and it gets weak and it droops and loses all kinds of strength. Well that’s how both films are and if they had kept the story short and to the point then it would have hit harder and pulled more than just one heart string.
There are moments in The Reader when I felt emotion and that is mainly towards the end. I felt sad and pity for several reasons. I also felt annoyed. The anger people hold in their hearts for others is just sad. And just like in Frost/Nixon there has to be someone that is so angry that they can’t find forgiveness. Forgiving is not for the person who wronged as much as it is for the person who has the power to do so. Because they have the ability to release their hate they pent up for no reason and go on with their life free of those chains. But with the S.S. and Nazis people have such hate that they can’t see that not all were as vile as the one: Hitler. They condemn people for association instead of what they have done. It’s disgusting. I can’t understand that kind of hatred.
The Reader is an interesting film that does cause one to think and see things from a different perspective. The comment in Valkyrie can be used here as well: “The world should know we were not all like him.” Connecting people with others just so more blame can be placed so that people can do what? Feel better? They don’t feel better they just radiate more hate. If you do decide to see this film Kate will be the only actor you’ll be remembering. She is so powerful.