Amazon Holiday

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Reader

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: A 15-year-old boy (David Kross) falls in love with an older woman (Kate Winslet) in 1958, only to find out later that she was a Nazi war criminal.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, David Kross, Lena Olin, Jeanette Hain, Vijessna Ferkic, Bruno Ganz, Karoline Herfurth, Volker Bruch, Hannah Herzsprung, Burgahart Klaussner

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketGo! It starts out sexy and taboo, and goes on to become an emotionally conflicting demonstration of the fine line between being guilty of a heinous crime and just following orders. Its major flaw becomes pretty clear from reading the above noted descriptions of the film-- which is that it feels a little like two separate movies. But if you can get past that, and focus on how the two parts tie together, you will find an interesting examination of how difficult it became to be a guilt-free German after World War II... especially by association.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: There is one joke and it's at Lady Chatterley's expense.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: Between the emotions tied to the pain of first love's heartbreak, the life-long damage that baggage can cause, and the realization that those who took part in the atrocities of the Holocaust could be the very people you know and love, there's bound to be something that gets to you.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: It's not the best movie of the year, but this is the kind of historical drama that tends to win Academy Awards. Add to that the death of two of its highly regarded, high profile producers, Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella, (making this movie the last for both of them), and suddenly this film's chances of winning become unsurmountable... That is, if it hadn't been for the very public, very petty battle that went down between (still living) producers Scott Rudin and Harvey Weinstein, which led to Rudin taking his name off the project, and turned an angry mob of Harvey-haters even less willing to let him win anything for anything.

Personally, I think that giving posthumous courtesy awards should be illegal. The dead will never know they got it, and the living will always know they're losers. What good comes of that?

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Kate Winslet gives the most transformative performance of her illustrious career. But rumor has it, she's going to campaign harder for her role in Revolutionary Road, because her husband, Sam Mendes, directed that one. I hope for her sake that she doesn't get nominated for an Oscar for Revolutionary Road, because not putting all her eggs in the husbandless basket would be a huge mistake. This is the role she could win for.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: The look and feel of the film is perfect, but the pace drags a bit at times. Thankfully, Stephen Daldry can always blame Harvey Weinstein for that, since he's the one who rushed him out of post-production, to make the Awards season deadline, which, coincidentally, is why Scott Rudin allegedly took his name off the film in the first place.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: The two part structure gives away that it's based on a novel, and makes this an unconventional narrative for a movie. But with the clear use of flashbacks and time jumps, the writer, David Hare, manages to make it work. Except for the last scene, which would have been better served had it been the first scene instead. Considering it sets the story in motion, I would bet money that there was a time when the last scene of this movie was the first scene.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: Warning: There is full-frontal 15-year-old male nudity. And I'm not sure if you can go to jail for looking at that.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?


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1 comment:

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