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-   -   The Reader (Daldry, 2008) — with Fiennes, Winslet, and Bruno Ganz (https://forum.dvdtalk.com/movie-talk/543073-reader-daldry-2008-%97-fiennes-winslet-bruno-ganz.html)

The Bus 11-05-08 01:33 PM

The Reader (Daldry, 2008) — with Fiennes, Winslet, and Bruno Ganz
 
<img src="http://www.butaca13.com/fotos/winslet-the-reader.JPG">
<a href="http://www.apple.com/trailers/weinstein/thereader/hd/"><b>HD Trailer</b></a> | <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0976051/">IMDB</a> | 10 Dec 08 (ltd), 9 Jan 09 (wide)

THE READER opens in post-WWII Germany when teenager Michael Berg becomes ill and is helped home by Hanna, a stranger twice his age. Michael recovers from scarlet fever and seeks out Hanna to thank her. The two are quickly drawn into a passionate but secretive affair. Michael discovers that Hanna loves being read to and their physical relationship deepens. Hanna is enthralled as Michael reads to her from “The Odyssey”, “Huck Finn”, and “The Lady with the Little Dog.” Despite their intense bond, Hanna mysteriously disappears one day and Michael is left confused and heartbroken. Eight years later, while Michael is a law student observing the Nazi war crime trials, he is stunned to find Hanna back in his life – this time as a defendant in the courtroom. As Hanna’s past is revealed, Michael uncovers a deep secret that will impact both of their lives. THE READER is a haunting story about truth and reconciliation, about how one generation comes to terms with the crimes of another.

<hr>

This is from the director of The Hours and Billy Elliot. My thoughts on it waver between "this looks good" and "this is Oscar bait"...

NoirFan 11-30-08 10:34 AM

Variety review:

Sober intelligence goes only so far in crafting an effective bigscreen version of the international bestseller "The Reader.".....Stephen Daldry's film is sensitively realized and dramatically absorbing, but comes across as an essentially cerebral experience without gut impact.

jfoobar 11-30-08 11:36 AM

Here is another early review:

http://www.criticsnotebook.com/2008/11/the-reader.html

Great cast and it is certainly nice to see Ganz get some more (presumably) English-language work, but this one may prove to be a little overcooked. We'll see.

NoirFan 12-20-08 09:23 AM

Featurette

Groucho 12-31-08 08:52 PM

I saw this yesterday. I agree with the review posted above -- I never felt an emotional attachment to the characters, and as such was never truly engrossed into the film. Kate Winslet was fantastic, though. The old age makeup was a huge failure, especially after seeing Benjamin Button recently.

Patman 01-01-09 07:11 PM

While "The Reader" starts out with a "Summer of '42" vibe between young Michael and 30-ish Hannah in 1958 in Germany, the story unfolds and mines its poignancy from the brief fling that begins with Hannah's enjoyment of Michael reading her books from his homework assignments, and Michael's quite understandable exhuberance in his sexual awakening in his high school days.

Kate Winslet is on the the top of her game as Hannah, although her character isn't deeply fleshed out as the film's central character is Michael, played Ralph Fiennes in his older capacity with much bottled up self-loathing at times, and newcomer David Kross plays young Michael in his high school and college years. The story covers 4 decades, and it flits in and out of events in a non-linearly fashion, but director Stephen Daldry doesn't allow the time changes to confuse or obscure the narrative, although my minor quibble with the film is that it takes forever for its final act to wrap up, and could have been tightened up a bit. That being said, there are some deeply affecting emotional beats from the film's main theme in the last act, although the characters never quite stir any substantial investment from me, you'll never take for granted:

Spoiler:
the gift of literacy in your everyday life,


If you're a fan of Kate Winslet, this is worthy a trip to the movies.

I give it 3.5 stars, or a grade of B+ (mainly for an overly long final act).

CloverClover 01-01-09 11:26 PM

While I was a little bored, I like being bored, especially with good material... it is soothing, washes over, and at a certain point becomes riveting. This, and Doubt to me were the best of '08, interestingly, I wasn't looking forward to seeing either. This one I found deeply and disturbingly sophisticated, and by the end it had gotten under my skin. I'd give it **** 1/2 / *****... I loved Daldry/Hare's prior movie The Hours as well, both movies have great moments of power, but I think The Reader is less aggressive, quieter, and ultimately stronger... no over-the-top Philip Glass music or emotional monologues here

asianxcore 01-04-09 01:56 PM

Saw this movie yesterday after reading a quick blurb about it.

Found it very effective and performances were great throughout. One of my favorite films of 2008 for sure.

Daytripper 01-04-09 03:01 PM

Another person here who had no interest in seeing this film. Mainly because I hated "The Hours". But I'm so glad I did. Like the previous poster said, I found "The Reader" to be extremely effective, and powerful. And the performances from everyone were top notch. This is definitely one of 2008's best.

Cosmic Bus 01-25-09 12:09 AM

Re: The Reader (Daldry, 2008) — with Fiennes, Winslet, and Bruno Ganz
 
After seeing this tonight, I must say that I'm a bit baffled and almost disappointed in the way many are scoffing at its Oscar nominations, dismissing it as some sort of token Holocaust picture (which it most certainly is not). I found it to be absolutely marvelous, heartbreaking and devastating, and completely engaging from the first moments to the last, with an exceptional job by both Winslet and Kross. If there's anything to take issue with, it would be the brief but wholely unneccessary "revelation" flashback at the mid-point. One would have to be an utter dunce not to have gathered what was going on early in the film, and this felt like a momentary dumbing-down of the material. Hardly a deal breaker, but excising the sequence would've been preferred.

The Antipodean 01-25-09 02:04 AM

Re: The Reader (Daldry, 2008) — with Fiennes, Winslet, and Bruno Ganz
 
I have yet to see Kate Winslet disappoint me in anything, even movies that didn't quite thrill me like "Iris."

Sanjuro37 01-25-09 07:31 AM

Re: The Reader (Daldry, 2008) — with Fiennes, Winslet, and Bruno Ganz
 

Originally Posted by Cosmic Bus (Post 9221586)
After seeing this tonight, I must say that I'm a bit baffled and almost disappointed in the way many are scoffing at its Oscar nominations, dismissing it as some sort of token Holocaust picture (which it most certainly is not). I found it to be absolutely marvelous, heartbreaking and devastating, and completely engaging from the first moments to the last, with an exceptional job by both Winslet and Kross. If there's anything to take issue with, it would be the brief but wholely unneccessary "revelation" flashback at the mid-point. One would have to be an utter dunce not to have gathered what was going on early in the film, and this felt like a momentary dumbing-down of the material. Hardly a deal breaker, but excising the sequence would've been preferred.

But that dumbass "revelation" is the half-assed explanation for everything. You can't just cut it out. So instead, the Holocaust is just the unfortunate side effect of
Spoiler:
her not being able to read
. So we're meant to sympathize with her, even though THAT'S the reason she was a Nazi. Even if the film hadn't been so aimless and uninvolving before that it still would have killed the film.

I hated this when the credits ran, but I swear I manage to hate it more every time I think about it.

arminius 03-17-09 09:04 AM

Re: The Reader (Daldry, 2008) — with Fiennes, Winslet, and Bruno Ganz
 
Just saw this and sort of agree with Groucho, but I liked it. I do not think we were supposed to feel for them. This was a place in time kinda thing. And this had nothing to do with the holocaust or nazis. She was obviously a low IQ woman. The answers she gave during the trial did not show evil, just a sense of "but that was my job". She did not think of herself as capable of making decisions, she did what she was told by the employer. And in the end she was made a scapegoat by, what to her, was the same government that ordered her as a guard. She was guilty of having no sense of self worth. I liked the way they jumped around in time and the way the different times looked. Nice movie. Oh and Kate looked very comfortable naked.

mickey65 04-18-09 10:22 AM

Re: The Reader (Daldry, 2008) — with Fiennes, Winslet, and Bruno Ganz
 
I saw this movie on DVD last night, and was a bit confused by a few things.

When she hooked up with Michael, why did she disappear? I know she had to leave her tram job since they offered her an office job and she couldn't accept it because of her not being able to read and write. But why leave like that, and just get another job elsewhere, or instead turn down the promotion?

Why didn't Michael just come out during the trial and tell the court she was illiterate?

Did she hang herself at the end? In the deleted scenes, they show her body in the morgue, but with some bandage wrapped around her head and blood come from her head?

But overall, it was a powerful movie. I'll be adding this one to my collection when the prices come down.

And yeah, Kate doesn't mind at all being nude on the big screen. VERY sexy woman. I love her in about all her movies...

mickey65 04-21-09 11:10 AM

Re: The Reader (Daldry, 2008) — with Fiennes, Winslet, and Bruno Ganz
 
wow..no one else has seen this movie???

Buttmunker 04-21-09 11:18 AM

Re: The Reader (Daldry, 2008) — with Fiennes, Winslet, and Bruno Ganz
 
I just saw it over the weekend. I thought it was one of Kate's best performances yet.

David Kross was great, and after the movie I discovered he had to learn to speak English to play the role, and now I think he was even better because of that fact! How he got overlooked at the Oscars is beyond me!

Raul3 05-04-09 12:56 PM

Re: The Reader (Daldry, 2008) — with Fiennes, Winslet, and Bruno Ganz
 
I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. I wasn't expecting much, besides watching Kate Winslet naked (was her or a body double?). But I was totally into the movie. The 2 hours ran really fast and I liked the overall story, no happy ending and really good acting.

Giantrobo 05-04-09 03:58 PM

Re: The Reader (Daldry, 2008) — with Fiennes, Winslet, and Bruno Ganz
 
I saw this a week or 2 ago and liked it. I know we aren't supposed to feel for certain characters but I did.

mickey65 05-18-09 02:48 PM

Re: The Reader (Daldry, 2008) — with Fiennes, Winslet, and Bruno Ganz
 

Originally Posted by Raul3 (Post 9424354)
I wasn't expecting much, besides watching Kate Winslet naked (was her or a body double?)

Kate NEVER uses a body double - that's all her.

Jack Straw 10-10-09 03:15 PM

Re: The Reader (Daldry, 2008) — with Fiennes, Winslet, and Bruno Ganz
 
Saw this movie on dvd (1st time). Even with the illiteracy angle, that shouldn't stop someone from knowing right from wrong and that
Spoiler:
willingly allowing people to burn alive while preventing their escape
is Wrong! Even a dog would know that. She really came off as a monster, imo, at that trial. Great performances from all, including the woman who survived and her daughter (both played by Lena Olin).

As an aside, I read on IMDB that "to avoid legal consequences, the crew delayed the filming of sexually explicit scenes until after actor David Kross' 18th birthday on July 4 2008."

mickey65 10-10-09 06:51 PM

Re: The Reader (Daldry, 2008) — with Fiennes, Winslet, and Bruno Ganz
 

Originally Posted by Jack Straw (Post 9764729)
Saw this movie on dvd (1st time). Even with the illiteracy angle, that shouldn't stop someone from knowing right from wrong and that
Spoiler:
willingly allowing people to burn alive while preventing their escape
is Wrong! Even a dog would know that. She really came off as a monster, imo, at that trial. Great performances from all, including the woman who survived and her daughter (both played by Lena Olin).

I think that is why Ralph Finnes character refused to write her back while she was in prison - because of what he witnessed during the trial.

Daytripper 10-10-09 10:20 PM

Re: The Reader (Daldry, 2008) — with Fiennes, Winslet, and Bruno Ganz
 

Originally Posted by mickey65 (Post 9765021)
I think that is why Ralph Finnes character refused to write her back while she was in prison - because of what he witnessed during the trial.

Um, yeah. And it's why he turned away going to go visit her for the first time in prison. When he was younger. Everything hit him at once. Her abandoning him, and what he learned she did during the trial.

Buttmunker 10-13-09 08:20 AM

Re: The Reader (Daldry, 2008) — with Fiennes, Winslet, and Bruno Ganz
 

Originally Posted by Jack Straw (Post 9764729)
Saw this movie on dvd (1st time). Even with the illiteracy angle, that shouldn't stop someone from knowing right from wrong and that
Spoiler:
willingly allowing people to burn alive while preventing their escape
is Wrong! Even a dog would know that. She really came off as a monster, imo, at that trial. Great performances from all, including the woman who survived and her daughter (both played by Lena Olin).

Listen, I get why the Officers under the Nazi regime had to be prosecuted...it was all their idea (and Hitler's).........but I never understood the prosecution of the soldiers - soldiers like Kate Winslet. In the military, if you're told to do something. Guess what: you DO it! Even our OWN GENERALS say that a good soldier follows orders, despite their passion, sense of self, whatever.

How, after the war, can you prosecute a mere soldier for doing something he or she was told to do?! What you feel about "right" or "wrong" plays no part in following orders!! Most likely, you're to be shot to death for disobeying orders.

If a Vietnam vet was sentenced to death for following his Leutenant's instructions to burn down a village, would that be the right thing to do to that Vietnam vet?

Raul3 10-13-09 09:23 AM

Re: The Reader (Daldry, 2008) — with Fiennes, Winslet, and Bruno Ganz
 

Originally Posted by Buttmunker (Post 9770197)
How, after the war, can you prosecute a mere soldier for doing something he or she was told to do?! What you feel about "right" or "wrong" plays no part in following orders!! Most likely, you're to be shot to death for disobeying orders.


Yeah, I thought the same about that.

Heat 11-29-10 11:19 PM

Re: The Reader (Daldry, 2008) — with Fiennes, Winslet, and Bruno Ganz
 
Just saw the movie, it's OK I guess. Worth a rental.

The first half of the movie was great. The second half was a disapointment and I couldn't figure out why her illiteracy was that shameful to her. If it really bothered her that much, why didn't she go to school? For her to spend her life in prison just so she wouldn't have to reveal that she couldn't read is just utterly stupid in my opinion.

And it was good to see Lena Olin (the daughter at the end of the movie who survived the burning church / the mother at the trial) - I have been watching the TV show Alias on DVD, Lena Olin has a major role in Season 3.


Originally Posted by mickey65 (Post 9395114)
I saw this movie on DVD last night, and was a bit confused by a few things.

When she hooked up with Michael, why did she disappear? I know she had to leave her tram job since they offered her an office job and she couldn't accept it because of her not being able to read and write. But why leave like that, and just get another job elsewhere, or instead turn down the promotion?...

She didn't feel like she could hide her illiteracy any longer, so she ran. I know, doesn't make sense to me either, but that's the way the movie played it.


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