The Reader

The Reader

The Reader

The Reader opens in post-WWII Germany when teenager Michael  becomes ill and is helped home by Hanna (played by Kate Winslet, in her Oscar winning performance), 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 (now played by Ralph Fiennes) 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.

Best Actress for Kate Winslet, Academy Awards 2009 and BAFTA Awards 2009. Best Supporting Actress for Kate Winslet, Golden Globes 2009.
2008Rating: R16, contains sex scenes123 minsUSA, Germany
DramaHistorical
Director:
Stephen Daldry ('The Hours', 'Billy Elliott')
Writer:
David Hare
Cast:
Kate WinsletRalph FiennesJeanette HainDavid Kross
100%
want to see

Reviews & comments

Variety

Variety

press

Stephen Daldry's film is sensitively realized and dramatically absorbing, but comes across as an essentially cerebral experience without gut impact.

0
Total Film

Total Film

press

Pleasingly adult material powered by elegant, muscular performances. A strong adaptation of a slippery novel.

4.0
0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

The film is neither about the Holocaust nor about those Germans who grappled with its legacy: it's about making the audience feel good about a historical catastrophe that grows fainter with each new tasteful interpolation.

0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

The crucial decision in The Reader is made by a 24-year-old youth, who has information that might help a woman about to be sentenced to life in prison, but withholds it. He is ashamed to reveal his affair with this woman. By making this decision, he shifts the film's focus from the subject of German guilt about the Holocaust and turns it on the human race in general.

0
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

Bloodless adaptation of a good novel is almost rescued by Winslet at her best.

3.0
0
Newshub

Newshub

press

A thought-provoking and incredibly rewarding five star watch.

5.0
0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

It is only, frankly, the strength of Winslet's performance that rises above conventional surroundings and makes The Reader the experience it should be.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

An engaging period drama. But German postwar guilt is not the most winning subject matter for the holiday season.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

The epitome of middle-brow 'quality' drama -- admirable within its limitations, but Bernard Schlink's Oprah Winfrey Book Club-approved book wasn't exactly literature, as this isn't exactly cinema.

3.0
0
Dominion Post

Dominion Post

press

As both an intellectual and emotional experience, this perfectly realised movie is one that will stay with me for a long time.

5.0
0

Daldry's direction the highlight

Stephen Daldry maintains a tight, exemplary, direction of a film which offers a lot with its script but fails to realise its potential. The key problem being that the middle of the film whets the appetite with some juicy courtroom scenes and lecture theatre postulating, which tempts the viewer to think the movie will seek to analyse that great unanswered...

3.0
0

Excellent movie

Ignore the knockers. Only a minor bit of pruning would have made it 5-star in my estimation. The rest has pretty much been said already.

4.0
0

Vastly better than Slumdog

Brilliant movie. I totally disagree with some of the put-downs published so far. Ignore them!

5.0
0

It lingers for weeks

This was an excellent film withveiled theme, strong characters, fine acting and a plot which continued to mislead and provoke. No cliches here. The Law lecturer encapsulates the moral dilemma of at least one young German in the context of justice within the law. Whether his actions and inactions are worse than hers is left for the viewer to ponder.

4.0
0

Beautiful nudity.

Too slow, too long, storyline full of holes and Feinnes at his melancholy worst. The boy had the best part and Kate didnt have to do much. Not recommended, see Dean Spangley instead!

2.0
0

"Best film of year so far"

I completely agree with the Flicks reviewer. A capitivating, entertaining and provokingly presented story.

5.0
0

My review

Brilliant captivating film that demands the audience's attention from start to finish. Kate fully deserved the oscar but so did the film.David Kross as the young lover was also outstanding. A must see especially for those that enjoy a great story that has passion,intensity & honesty.

5.0
0

Review

Best film I've seen this year!!! Touches you deep down.

5.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

Stephen Daldry's film is sensitively realized and dramatically absorbing, but comes across as an essentially cerebral experience without gut impact.

0
Total Film

Total Film

press

Pleasingly adult material powered by elegant, muscular performances. A strong adaptation of a slippery novel.

4.0
0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

The film is neither about the Holocaust nor about those Germans who grappled with its legacy: it's about making the audience feel good about a historical catastrophe that grows fainter with each new tasteful interpolation.

0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

The crucial decision in The Reader is made by a 24-year-old youth, who has information that might help a woman about to be sentenced to life in prison, but withholds it. He is ashamed to reveal his affair with this woman. By making this decision, he shifts the film's focus from the subject of German guilt about the Holocaust and turns it on the human race in general.

0
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

Bloodless adaptation of a good novel is almost rescued by Winslet at her best.

3.0
0
Newshub

Newshub

press

A thought-provoking and incredibly rewarding five star watch.

5.0
0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

It is only, frankly, the strength of Winslet's performance that rises above conventional surroundings and makes The Reader the experience it should be.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

An engaging period drama. But German postwar guilt is not the most winning subject matter for the holiday season.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

The epitome of middle-brow 'quality' drama -- admirable within its limitations, but Bernard Schlink's Oprah Winfrey Book Club-approved book wasn't exactly literature, as this isn't exactly cinema.

3.0
0
Dominion Post

Dominion Post

press

As both an intellectual and emotional experience, this perfectly realised movie is one that will stay with me for a long time.

5.0
0

Daldry's direction the highlight

Stephen Daldry maintains a tight, exemplary, direction of a film which offers a lot with its script but fails to realise its potential. The key problem being that the middle of the film whets the appetite with some juicy courtroom scenes and lecture theatre postulating, which tempts the viewer to think the movie will seek to analyse that great unanswered...

3.0
0

Excellent movie

Ignore the knockers. Only a minor bit of pruning would have made it 5-star in my estimation. The rest has pretty much been said already.

4.0
0

Vastly better than Slumdog

Brilliant movie. I totally disagree with some of the put-downs published so far. Ignore them!

5.0
0

It lingers for weeks

This was an excellent film withveiled theme, strong characters, fine acting and a plot which continued to mislead and provoke. No cliches here. The Law lecturer encapsulates the moral dilemma of at least one young German in the context of justice within the law. Whether his actions and inactions are worse than hers is left for the viewer to ponder.

4.0
0

Beautiful nudity.

Too slow, too long, storyline full of holes and Feinnes at his melancholy worst. The boy had the best part and Kate didnt have to do much. Not recommended, see Dean Spangley instead!

2.0
0

"Best film of year so far"

I completely agree with the Flicks reviewer. A capitivating, entertaining and provokingly presented story.

5.0
0

My review

Brilliant captivating film that demands the audience's attention from start to finish. Kate fully deserved the oscar but so did the film.David Kross as the young lover was also outstanding. A must see especially for those that enjoy a great story that has passion,intensity & honesty.

5.0
0

Review

Best film I've seen this year!!! Touches you deep down.

5.0
0