Flick Crit: The Reader

My latest film review on Cinema Takes:

The Reader: not just another holocaust movie

The Reader is a complex film that explores themes of love, barbarity, guilt, shame and secrecy. The triumph of the human spirit is often hard to find as the horror of the holocaust is revisited through a different lens, a seemingly ordinary but very flawed German woman.

There are many ghosts haunting this excellent movie besides its holocaust victims.

Twenty five years ago Meryl Streep won a Best Actress in a Leading Role in Sophie’s Choice. Kate Winslet took the glittering oscar prize this year in competition with Meryl’s outstanding portrayal of Sister Aloysius Beauvier in Doubt. Sophie and Hanna both have secrets that embody the mystery in each narrative. In Hanna’s case her personal shame takes precedence over public condemnation but her secret is barely disguised from early on in the film. We are warned by a teacher’s remarks that literature is about characters trying to keep their secrets hidden.

Amon Goeth, the crazed commandant from Schindler’s List was played by Ralph Fiennes. He received a nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences certainly like holocaust movies.

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2 Responses

  1. Over the last few weeks I’ve watched the latest ‘blockbusters’ – Revolutionary Road, The Reader, Doubt and Changling – and I didn’t like any them. They were watchable but not memorable, not films I would be bothered seeing again, well certainly not for some time.

    Perhaps it’s a mistake to watch movies while they are surrounded by all the hype but to not do so means missing out on the cinema experience of them.

    The only movie seen at a cinema in the last six months that I’ve really enjoyed was the remake of ‘Brideshead Revisited’ which I saw, I think, October or November last.

  2. I watched the Reader the other day and it’s well worth seeing.

    Kate Winslet gave a sensational performance, gritty and captivating.

    The holocaust aspect of the storyline only emerged later in the movie.

    Another top “must see” movie for the year.

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