Reviewed by: Misty Wagner
|Featuring||Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, Alexandra Maria Lara, Bruno Ganz, David Kross, Karoline Herfurth, Linda Bassett, Hannah Herzsprung, Jeanette Hain, Susanne Lothar, Kirsten Block, Volker Bruch, Matthias Habich, Ludwig Blochberger, Claudia Michelsen, Jürgen Tarrach, Vijessna Ferkic, Max Mauff, Benjamin Trinks, Richard Odell, Hendrik, Moritz Grove, Jacqueline Macaulay, Vanessa Berthold, Rainer Sellien, Alissa Wilms, Alexander Keller, Claudia Kühnert, Alexandru Herca, Marcus Bode, Joachim Tomaschewsky, Jacqueline Brock, Marie-Anne Fliegel, Ines Klewer, Rüdiger Kühmstedt, Bettina Scheuritzel, Sam Luca Scollin|
|Producer||Mirage Enterprises, Neunte Babelsberg Film, The Weinstein Company, Jason Blum, Donna Gigliotti, Anthony Minghella, Henning Molfenter, Redmond Morris, Arno Neubauer, Sydney Pollack, Michael Simon de Normier, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Woebcken|
|Distributor||The Weinstein Company|
“How far would you go to protect a secret? Unlock the mystery.”
“The Reader” is primarily the story of a boy named Michael Berg, who grows into a man (Ralph Fiennes) with a fair amount of personality issues. This is demonstrated within the opening scene. As the movie unfolds, springing from 1995 to days playing out decades before, we begin to learn that the reasons for this revolve around his affair with an older woman, when he was 16. The older woman, Hannah (Kate Winslet) seduces him, only to later break his heart and disappear. Despite their very brief relationship, the effects of Hannah (and, in many ways, Hannah herself) never stop affecting Michael's life.
I went into “The Reader” knowing two things. One being the premise of the plot, and two being that there was a substantial amount of nudity in this film. It seems that Kate Winslet is getting quite amount of buzz about her role. Typically being a fan of Kate, and rolls she chooses, I was eager to see what this film would have to offer it's audience. At the end of the two hours and two minutes, I found myself feeling very sad. The character of Hannah is one, in my opinion, who is void of the ability for emotional connection. She seems to be immune to anyone's pain or vulnerability—focused instead only on her own love of literature. Although I wouldn't label her actions as psychopathic, I felt that her emotional detachment could have led there in a different sort of film plot.
I've not read the book this film is based on. Perhaps Hannah's disconnect stems from her time as a guard in the Nazi regime. I didn't feel that it really explained why Hannah seemed to care about nothing, and I wished that it would have.
With the ending, I wanted to feel more about the characters. I wanted to care more about the story, but I couldn't. That isn't to say it wasn't well shot, or beautifully acted because it was… Honestly, I just don't feel there is anything at all redeeming to warrant a recommendation of this movie to anyone.Violence: None / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Extreme
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.