Sunday, January 30, 2011

Movie Review: The Reader

Photobucket Summary: The Reader, which won the Boston Book Review's Fisk Fiction Prize, wrestles with many more demons in its few, remarkably lucid pages. What does it mean to love those people--parents, grandparents, even lovers--who committed the worst atrocities the world has ever known? And is any atonement possible through literature? Schlink's prose is clean and pared down, stripped of unnecessary imagery, dialogue, and excess in any form. What remains is an austerely beautiful narrative of the attempt to breach the gap between Germany's pre- and postwar generations, between the guilty and the innocent, and between words and silence.

Review: I will admit it, I haven't read the book. However, I can still review the movie. I will pretty much watching anything that Kate Winslet is in and since she won the Oscar for this movie, I knew I would get around to seeing it.

I first of all can not believe this is a YA book! The first 1/2 of the movie is about the searing love affair between a 15 year old Michael and Hanna Schmitz. For Michael it might have been one summer, but it affected him for a lifetime. I think we all can think back to being 15 and how those experiences shaped how we see the world and our relationships, even into adulthood. How well do we know the people we think we are the closest too?

I loved how the story shifted from the past to the present throughout the movie. We get to see Michael grow throughout the movie but we really don't know much about Hanna. Maybe that's the point? Maybe we are supposed to only know Hanna through Michael's eyes.

Was Hanna guilty of her crimes? Yes, she could have prevented them. Was some of this caused by her illiteracy? I think so but it most certainly doesn't excuse it.

If you are willing to sit through a lot of dialogue with an intriguing premise, then you will definitely want to watch The Reader. Oh and did I mention Ralph Fiennes and Lena Olin are in it? They are.

Final Take: 4/5



Jenn January 30, 2011 at 10:03 AM  

I'll have to check this out.

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