The Reader (2008) Poster

The Reader (2008)

  • Rate: 7.6/10 total 84,807 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Romance
  • Release Date: 30 January 2009 (USA)
  • Runtime: 124 min
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The Reader (2008)


The Reader 2008tt0976051.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Reader (2008)
  • Rate: 7.6/10 total 84,807 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Romance
  • Release Date: 30 January 2009 (USA)
  • Runtime: 124 min
  • Filming Location: Berlin, Germany
  • Budget: $32,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $34,194,407(USA)(13 May 2009)
  • Director: Stephen Daldry
  • Stars: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes and Bruno Ganz
  • Original Music By: Nico Muhly   
  • Soundtrack: Pueri Hebraeorum
  • Sound Mix: DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS
  • Plot Keyword: Law | Trial | Law Student | War Crime | Student

Writing Credits By:

  • David Hare (screenplay)
  • Bernhard Schlink (book "Der Vorleser")

Known Trivia

  • Stephen Daldry’s first choice for the lead role was Kate Winslet, who originally turned down the offer due to a scheduling conflict with Revolutionary Road. When Nicole Kidman accepted the role, the producers built in a hiatus in order to allow her to finish filming Baz Luhrmann’s Australia. However, by the time Kidman was set to begin her scenes on the film, she withdrew because of her pregnancy, vacating the role. Winslet, who was now available, agreed to replace Kidman.
  • Juliette Binoche was considered for the role of Hanna Schmitz.
  • Producers Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella both died before the completion of the movie. As the film was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, the Academy made an exception from their rules not to name more than three producers as nominees because of this rare circumstance. In the end the two producers Donna Gigliotti and Redmond Morris who took over duties were nominated as well as the posthumously honored Minghella and Pollack.
  • Three composers were considered to compose the original music – Nico Muhly, Ozren K. Glaser and Alberto Iglesias.
  • Producer Scott Rudin was originally a producer of the movie but he got into conflict with executive producer Harvey Weinstein. Rudin wanted to push the release date back to 2009 to avoid an Oscar campaign along with Doubt and Revolutionary Road both which were also produced by Rudin. Eventually Rudin left the film and had his name removed from the credits. Ironically, The Reader was nominated for an Academy Award 2009 in the Best Picture category (and thus got producer’s nominations) but neither Doubt nor Revolutionary Road.
  • Before Kate Winslet accepted the role of Hanna, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard and Naomi Watts were considered for the part.
  • To avoid legal consequences, the crew delayed the filming of sexually explicit scenes until after actor David Kross’ 18th birthday on July 4 2008.
  • The film’s original cinematographer was Roger Deakins. From September to October 2007, he shot scenes that didn’t feature the character Hanna. After filming was shut down (to give Nicole Kidman, who had been cast as Hanna, time to finish filming Australia before joining the production), Deakins left to shoot Doubt and begin pre-production on A Serious Man. Once Kidman withdrew from the film and was replaced by Kate Winslet, filming resumed in March 2008; the new cinematographer, Chris Menges, shot all of Winslet’s scenes.
  • The Latin lines Michael quotes to Hanna are “Quo, quo scelesti ruitis? Aut cur dexteris / aptantur enses conditi?” These are the opening lines of Horace’s 7th Epode, a short poem where he expresses outrage at the fact that his countrymen are still engaged in civil war. “Villains, where are you rushing to? Why are your hands / Grasping those swords that were sheathed?” (translation A.S. Kline). The Greek lines he quotes are the opening stanza of Sappho’s 16th fragment: (transliterated) “Oi men ippeon stroton, oi de pesdon, / oi de naon phais’ epi gan melainan / emmenai kalliston, ego de ken’ ot- / to tis eratai”. “Some say a host of horsemen, others of infantry, and others of ships, is the most beautiful thing on the dark earth: but I say, it is what you love.” (translation Denys Page).

Goofs: Continuity: When Older Michael first gets into his car, it is completely covered with dew or raindrops. In the following scene, the car is totally dry.

Plot: Post-WWII Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman came to a mysterious end, law student Michael Berg re-encounters his former lover as she defends herself in a war-crime trial. Full summary »  »

Story: THE READER opens in post-war Germany when teenager Michael Berg becomes ill and is helped home by Hanna, 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 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. THE READER is a story about truth and reconciliation…Written by The Weinstein Company  


Synopsis: The movie begins in 1995 Berlin, where a well-dressed man named Michael Berg is preparing breakfast for a woman whom has stayed the night with him. The two part awkwardly, and as Michael watches a Berlin S-Bahn pass by outside, the film flashes back to another tram in 1958 Neustadt. An unhappy-looking teenaged Michael (David Kross) gets off but wanders around the streets afterwards, finally pausing in the entryway of a nearby apartment building where he starts to vomit. Hanna Schmitz (Kate Winslet), the tram Conductor, comes in and assists him in returning home.Michael is diagnosed with scarlet fever and must rest at home for the next three months. All Michael can do is examine his stamps and bide his time.

After he recovers, he returns to the apartment building to deliver a bouquet of flowers to Hanna at her apartment and thanks her. She is matter of fact with him but asks him to escort her to work on the tramline. However, when she catches him spying on her as she dresses he runs away in shame. When he returns to apologize a few days later, she seduces him. He persuades her to tell him her name — Hanna. Michael returns to her every day after school, rejecting the clear interest of girls his own age. The two begin an affair that lasts through that summer. Their liaisons, at her apartment, are characterized by him reading literary works he is studying in school to her, such as ”The Odyssey”, "The Lady with the Dog" and ”The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. He sells his stamps so they can go on a bicycling tour in the countryside. When Hanna is promoted by the tram company, she becomes unsettled, and snaps at Michael when he tries to read her Chekhov’s "The Lady with the Dog." They make love one last time and she then moves away without telling him where she is going. Michael is heartbroken.

Eight years later (1966), Michael attends Heidelberg Law School. As part of a special seminar taught by Professor Rohl (Bruno Ganz), a camp survivor, he observes a trial of several women who were accused of letting 300 Jewish women die in a burning church when they were SS guards on the Death marches following the 1944 evacuation of Auschwitz concentration camp. Michael is stunned to see that Hanna is one of the defendants. He visits a former camp himself to try to come to terms with this. The trial divides the seminar, with one student angrily saying there is nothing to be learned from it other than that evil acts occurred. He tells Rohl that the older generation of Germans should kill themselves for their failure to act then and now.

The key evidence is the testimony of Ilana Mather, a young Jewish woman who has written a memoir about how she and her mother survived. When Hanna testifies, unlike her fellow defendants, she admits that she was aware Auschwitz was an extermination camp and that the ten women she chose during each month’s were subsequently gassed. She denies authorship of a report on the barn fire, despite pressure from the other defendants, but then admits it when asked to provide a handwriting sample.In the audience, Michael then realizes Hanna’s secret: she is illiterate and has made many of her life choices to conceal that. Even her choice to join the SS was made because of her desire to avoid a job promotion meaning she would have had to reveal her illiteracy. Without being specific, Michael informs Rohl that he has information favorable to one of the defendants but is not sure what to do since the defendant herself wants to avoid disclosing this. Rohl tells him that if he has learned nothing from the past there is no point in having the seminar.

Hanna receives a life sentence for her role in the church deaths while the other defendants get terms of a few years. Michael meanwhile marries, has a daughter but remains emotionally withdrawn. His marriage ends and he becomes distant from his daughter. Rediscovering his books and notes from the time of his affair with Hanna, he re-establishes contact with her by reading some of those works into a tape recorder. He sends the cassettes and another tape recorder to her in prison. Eventually she uses these to teach herself to read the books themselves from the prison library, and writes back to him.

Michael does not write back or visit, but keeps sending tapes, and in 1988, the prison’s warden writes to him to seek his help in arranging for her after her forthcoming release. He reluctantly agrees to sponsor Hanna. He finds an apartment and job for her but when he visits her a week before she is to be released, he is aloof to her. She tells him that before the trial, she never thought about what she did as a SS guard, but thinks about nothing else now. After he leaves, she commits suicide and leaves a note to Michael and a tea tin with cash in it. In her will, she asks Michael to give her life’s savings to the family of one of the prisoners at Auschwitz.

Later, Michael travels to New York. He meets Ilana (Lena Olin) and confesses his past relationship with Hanna to her. He tells her that Hanna was illiterate for most of her life but that her suicide note told him to give both the cash, some money she had in a bank account and the tea tin to Ilana. After telling Michael there is nothing to be learned from the camps and that he should go to the theater if he is seeking catharsis. Michael suggests that he donate the money to an organization that combats adult illiteracy, preferably a Jewish one, and she agrees. Ilana keeps the tea tin since it is similar to one she herself had owned before being sent to the camps, where it was taken from her to be melted down.

In 1995, Michael reunites with his daughter, Julia (Hannah Herzsprung), who has just returned from a year in Paris. He admits his failings as a father and drives her to a church that he and Hanna had visited during their bicycle tour nearly forty years earlier. He shows her Hanna’s grave and begins to tell her his and Hanna’s story.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Jason Blum known as co-executive producer
  • Christoph Fisser known as co-producer
  • Donna Gigliotti known as producer
  • Tarik Karam known as associate producer
  • Anthony Minghella known as producer
  • Henning Molfenter known as co-producer
  • Redmond Morris known as producer
  • Arno Neubauer known as line producer
  • Sydney Pollack known as producer
  • Marianna Rowinska known as line producer: Poland
  • Sabine Schenk known as line producer: New York
  • Michael Simon de Normier known as associate producer
  • Nora Skinner known as associate producer
  • Marieke Spencer known as associate producer
  • Bob Weinstein known as executive producer
  • Harvey Weinstein known as executive producer
  • Charlie Woebcken known as co-producer (as Carl L. Woebcken)

FullCast & Crew:

  • Ralph Fiennes known as Michael Berg
  • Jeanette Hain known as Brigitte
  • David Kross known as Young Michael Berg
  • Kate Winslet known as Hanna Schmitz
  • Susanne Lothar known as Carla Berg
  • Alissa Wilms known as Emily Berg
  • Florian Bartholomäi known as Thomas Berg
  • Friederike Becht known as Angela Berg
  • Matthias Habich known as Peter Berg
  • Frieder Venus known as Doctor
  • Marie-Anne Fliegel known as Hanna's Neighbour (as Marie Anne Fliegel)
  • Hendrik Arnst known as Woodyard Worker
  • Rainer Sellien known as Teacher
  • Torsten Michaelis known as Sports Master
  • Moritz Grove known as Holger
  • Joachim Tomaschewsky known as Stamp Dealer
  • Barbara Philipp known as Waitress
  • Hans Hohlbein known as Clerk
  • Jürgen Tarrach known as Gerhard Bade (as Juergen Tarrach)
  • Kirsten Block known as Female Judge
  • Vijessna Ferkic known as Sophie
  • Vanessa Berthold known as Sophie's Friend
  • Benjamin Trinks known as Holger's Friend
  • Fritz Roth known as Tram Supervisor
  • Hannah Herzsprung known as Julia
  • Jacqueline Macaulay known as Heidelberg Lecturer (as Jaqueline Macaulay)
  • Volker Bruch known as Dieter
  • Bruno Ganz known as Professor Rohl
  • Karoline Herfurth known as Marthe
  • Max Mauff known as Rudolf
  • Ludwig Blochberger known as Seminar Group Student
  • Jonas Jägermeyr known as Seminar Group Student
  • Alexander Kasprik known as Seminar Group Student
  • Burghart Klaußner known as Judge (as Burghart Klaussner)
  • Sylvester Groth known as Prosecuting Council
  • Fabian Busch known as Hanna's Defence Council
  • Margarita Broich known as Co-Defendant
  • Marie Gruber known as Co-Defendant
  • Lena Lessing known as Co-Defendant
  • Merelina Kendall known as Co-Defendant
  • Hildegard Schroedter known as Co-Defendant
  • Lena Olin known as Rose Mather / Ilana Mather
  • Alexandra Maria Lara known as Young Ilana Mather
  • Martin Brambach known as Remand Prison Guard #1
  • Michael Schenk known as Remand Prison Guard #2
  • Ava Eusepi-Harris known as Young Julia
  • Nadja Engel known as Mail Room Guard #1
  • Anne-Kathrin Gummich known as Mail Room Guard #2
  • Carmen-Maja Antoni known as Prison Librarian
  • Petra Hartung known as Head Prison Guard
  • Linda Bassett known as Ms. Brenner
  • Beata Lehmann known as Ms. Brenner's Secretary
  • Heike Hanold-Lynch known as Prison Guard
  • Bettina Scheuritzel known as Gate Guard
  • Robin Gooch known as Ilana's Maid (as Robin Lyn Gooch)
  • Thomas Borchardt known as Criminal Defense Lawyer (uncredited)
  • Hans-Joachim Fisch known as Lay judge (uncredited)
  • Alexandru Herca known as Reporter (uncredited)
  • Hendrik Maaß known as Michael's Court House Assistant (uncredited)
  • Klemen Novak known as Additional Voices (voice) (uncredited)
  • Rich Odell known as Taxi Driver (uncredited)
  • Daniele Rizzo known as Student (uncredited)
  • Sam Luca Scollin known as Reporter (uncredited)
  • Stephan Ziller known as Student in Court (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Pauline Fowler known as chief prosthetic supervisor
  • Gabriele Kent-Horspool known as makeup artist
  • Chris Lyons known as special effects teeth
  • Daniel Meaker known as silicone technician: head of department
  • Linda Melazzo known as makeup artist: Ms. Winslet
  • Peter Owen known as wig designer
  • Ivana Primorac known as hair designer
  • Ivana Primorac known as makeup designer
  • Valeska Schitthelm known as additional hair stylist
  • Valeska Schitthelm known as additional makeup artist
  • Annett Schulze known as makeup artist
  • Matthew Smith known as prosthetic makeup designer (as Matthew Weston Smith)
  • Anna Von Gwinner known as makeup artist
  • Maria Torfeld known as makeup artist (uncredited)

Art Department:

  • Pablo Alza known as paint supervisor
  • Stefanie Arndt known as art department assistant
  • Martina Barthelmes known as set decorator buyer
  • Martina Valentina Baumgartner known as art department assistant (as Martina Baumgartner)
  • Achim Beimann known as swing gang: set dressing (as Achim Reimann)
  • Susann Belaval known as art department coordinator
  • Daniel Ben Sorge known as lead person
  • Roman Berger known as stand-by carpenter
  • Indra Besing known as assistant property master
  • Klaus Bienen known as carpenter
  • Joshua Black known as supervisor painter
  • Maresa Burmester known as set dresser
  • Stephan Buttchereit known as paint supervisor
  • Ron Büttner known as set dresser
  • Temple Clark known as storyboard artist
  • Katja Clos known as graphic designer
  • Torsten Dahlke known as stand-by painter
  • Esther Disteldorf known as draftsman
  • Michael Düwel known as art department: Studio Babelsberg
  • Axel Eichhorst known as conceptual artist
  • Anja Fromm known as art director: Cologne
  • James Gambino known as typesetting
  • Jens Gaube known as swing gang: set dressing
  • Ulrike Gojowczyk known as stand-by props
  • Omid Gutt known as set dresser
  • Marcus Göppner known as assistant art director (as Marcus Goeppner)
  • Marita Götz known as assistant property master (as Marita Goetz)
  • Gesche Hein known as assistant set decorator
  • Christoph Heinecke known as set dresser
  • Christina Hoenicke known as set decorator buyer
  • David Hoffmann known as property master
  • Cara Hünnekes known as props store manager
  • Sarah Jablonka known as art department assistant
  • Nele Jordan known as set dresser
  • Lily Kiera known as stand-by props
  • Christine Kisorsy known as art research
  • Martin Knauer known as set dresser
  • Benjamin Kniebe known as storyboard artist
  • Daniel Kolarov known as assistant property master
  • Edgar Konkoll known as swing gang: set dressing
  • Oliver Krink known as lead carpenter
  • Klaus Kunstmann known as metalworker
  • Ivan Lacaze known as stand-by painter
  • Uli Langenberg known as construction manager: Cologne
  • Kirsten Lieboldt known as assistant set decorator (as Kirsten Lieboldt-Longolius)
  • Alexis Miszak known as swing gang: set dressing
  • Joachim Monninger known as construction coordinator
  • Bibbi Müller known as props store manager
  • Hans-Joachim Müller known as plasterer
  • Jose Pavon known as property master: New York
  • Daniel Peeck known as stand-by carpenter (as Daniel Peek)
  • Johannes Pfaller known as assistant property master (as Johannes A. Pfaller)
  • Doro Polstorff known as set dresser (as Doro Polstroff)
  • Matthias Prange known as swing gang: set dressing
  • Melanie Reichert known as construction buyer
  • Dominik Reindl known as stand-by painter
  • Gabriele Roß known as art department coordinator (as Gabriele Ross)
  • Thorsten Sabel known as assistant art director
  • Robert Samtleben known as construction manager
  • Bettina Saul known as lead person
  • Doro Schiefeling known as set decorator buyer
  • Katja Schlömer known as set decorating researcher
  • Klaus Schmidt known as lead carpenter
  • Max Schmigalla known as set dresser
  • Tobias Schroeter known as sculptor
  • Anu Schwartz known as art director: New York
  • Giovanni A. Scribano known as set dresser (as Giovanni Scribano)
  • Henry Seifert known as draftsman
  • Heike Steen known as set dresser
  • Waleska Theis known as assistant set decorator (as Waleska Defne Theis)
  • Henrietta Thomas known as art department trainee
  • Dorothee von Bodelschwingh known as set decorating researcher
  • Dorothee von Bodelschwingh known as set decoration buyer
  • Dagmar Wessel known as lead person
  • Christian Wollberg known as set dresser
  • Wolfgang Wrede known as paint supervisor
  • Anne Zentgraf known as set dresser
  • Tanja Baumgartner known as set decorating researcher (uncredited)
  • Hélène Gourdin Doherty known as trainee set dresser (uncredited)
  • Daniel Kolarov known as assistant property master: Cologne (uncredited)
  • Tom Trambow known as backdrops (uncredited)




Production Companies:

  • Weinstein Company, The (presents)
  • Mirage Enterprises (producer)
  • Neunte Babelsberg Film (producer)
  • Filmförderungsanstalt (FFA) (supported by) (as FFA)
  • Deutsche Filmförderfonds (DFFF) (supported by) (as Deutscher Filmförderfonds)
  • Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (supported by)
  • Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung (MDM) (supported by)
  • Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen (supported by) (as nrw Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen)

Other Companies:

  • A:AI Archiv für Architektur und Ingenieurbaukunst NRW  the producers wish to thank (as A:AI Archiv für Architektur und Ingenieurbaukunst NRW, TU Dortmund)
  • ARRI Film + TV  digital dailies (as ARRI Film And TV)
  • Agentur Wanted  extras casting
  • Air Lyndhurst Studios  recorded at: music/score (as Air Studios, Lyndhurst Hall)
  • Artur Images  the producers wish to thank (as Heinrich Heidersberger/arturimages)
  • Barnardworks  used with permission of: Sappho, A New Translation by Mary Barnard (on behalf of the Mary Barnard Estate)
  • Berliner Synchron Wenzel Lüdecke  adr recorded at
  • Berliner Union Film  adr recorded at (as Berliner Union-Film GmbH & Co. Studio KG)
  • Bezirksamt Steglitz-Zehlendorf  the producers wish to thank (as Bezirksamt Zehlendorf/Steglitz)
  • C5  foley recording facility
  • CCC-Filmkunst  the producers wish to thank (as CCC Filmkunst)
  • Central Scope Production  production services: Czech Republic (as Central Scope Productions)
  • Cine Plus  Avids provided by: Berlin (as Cine+)
  • City of Görlitz  the producers wish to thank
  • City of Luckau  the producers wish to thank
  • Cooking Brothers  catering provided by (as The Cooking Brothers)
  • De Lane Lea  adr recorded at
  • Deutsches Filminstitut (DIF)  the producers wish to thank
  • Diogenes Verlag  original publisher: Der Vorleser
  • Donna Daniels Public Relations  publicity
  • Egmont UK  copyright owner: Tintin English translations
  • Entertainment Clearances  rights and clearances
  • Faber and Faber  used with permission of: East Coker, Four Quartets
  • Fondation Hergé  copyright owner: Tintin – The Seven Crystal Balls © 2008 (as Hergé/Moulinsart)
  • Framestore  digital aging
  • Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)  the producers wish to thank (as Friedrich Ebert Stiftung)
  • Fritz Bauer Institut  the producers wish to thank
  • Fujifilm  released on (as Fujifilm Professional Motion Picture Products)
  • Georges Borchardt  used by permission of: The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Robert Fagles (on behalf of Robert Fagles)
  • Gerling Konzern  the producers wish to thank (as HDI Gerling/Cologne)
  • Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore  used with permission of: Doctor Zhivago (as Carlo Feltrinelli Editore)
  • Goldcrest Post Production London  adr recorded at (as Goldcrest Production)
  • HKS 13  the producers wish to thank
  • Henry Moore Foundation  the producers wish to thank (as The Henry Moore Foundation)
  • HireWorks  Avids provided by: London
  • Hundertwasser Archive  the producers wish to thank
  • Interaudio Tonstudio  adr recorded at
  • International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE)  this picture made under the jurisdiction of (as I.A.T.S.E.®)
  • Lakeshore Records  soundtrack
  • Legacy Recording Studios  score mixed at
  • Literacy Partners  the producers wish to thank
  • Mama Filmcatering  catering provided by
  • Mecon Media Concept  extras payroll
  • Museum of Work  the producers wish to thank
  • NovaStar Digital  sound post-production
  • Opuz Studios  adr recorded at
  • Orange Sound Studios  adr recorded at
  • Orbit Digital  Avids provided by: New York
  • Orbit Digital  cutting rooms: New York
  • Ozumi Films  production services: Poland (as Ozumi Film)
  • Penguin Group  publisher: The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Robert Fagles, Copyright © 1996 (as Viking Penguin)
  • Penguin Group  used with permission of: The World of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig (as Penguin Books USA)
  • Petra Ohler Casting  extras casting: Cologne
  • Right Lobe Design Group  title design by
  • Schenk Productions  production services: New York
  • SenfKorn Film  production consultant
  • Sound One Corporation  adr recorded at (as Sound One Corp.)
  • Sound One Corporation  re-recorded at (as Sound One Corp.)
  • Sound One Corporation  sound editorial provided by (as Sound One Corp.)
  • Soundtrack  adr facility
  • Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen  the producers wish to thank: Meissen®
  • Stadtarchiv Mannheim  the producers wish to thank
  • State Museum at Majdanek  the producers wish to thank
  • Studentendorf Berlin Schlachtensee e.G.  the producers wish to thank
  • Studio Funk  adr recorded at (as Studio Funk GmbH & Co. KG)
  • Technicolor Digital Intermediates  digital intermediate (as Technicolor NY/LA)
  • Technicolor  opticals
  • Three Mills Island Studios  cutting rooms: London (as 3 Mills Studio)
  • Tonstudios Z  adr recorded at
  • Translux  facilities
  • Trevanna Post  post-production accountant
  • United States Holocaust Memorial Museum  the producers wish to thank (as United States Holocaust Memorial Museum,
  • Universal Studios Licensing  courtesy of: JAWS
  • Unverzagt von Have  legal counsel: Studio Babelsberg
  • Williams Verlag  used with permission of: The World of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig (as Williams Verlag, Switzerland)


  • Weinstein Company, The (2008-2009) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Alliance (2008) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Benelux Film Distributors (2009) (Belgium) (theatrical)
  • Benelux Film Distributors (2009) (Luxembourg) (theatrical)
  • Benelux Film Distributors (2009) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Entertainment Film Distributors (2009) (UK) (theatrical)
  • Londra Films P&D (2009) (Bolivia) (theatrical)
  • Pachamama Cine (2009) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • Sandrew Metronome Distribution Sverige AB (2009) (Sweden) (theatrical)
  • Alliance (2009) (Canada) (DVD)
  • Applause Entertainment (2009) (Taiwan) (all media)
  • Argentina Video Home (2009) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • Ascot Elite Entertainment Group (2009) (Switzerland) (all media)
  • Bac Films (2009) (France) (all media)
  • CN Entertainment (2009) (Hong Kong) (DVD)
  • Dutch FilmWorks (DFW) (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Dutch FilmWorks (DFW) (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Entertainment in Video (2009) (UK) (DVD)
  • Forum Film (2008) (Israel) (all media)
  • Forum Film (2009) (Israel) (all media)
  • Genius Products (2009) (USA) (DVD)
  • Golden Village Pictures (2009) (Singapore) (all media)
  • Imagem Filmes (2009) (Brazil) (all media)
  • Noori Pictures (2009) (South Korea) (all media)
  • Odeon (2009) (Greece) (all media)
  • Palace Pictures (2009) (Czech Republic) (all media)
  • SND (2009) (France) (all media)
  • Sandrew Metronome Distribution (2009) (Scandinavia) (all media)
  • Senator Film (2009) (Austria) (all media)
  • Senator Film (2009) (Germany) (all media)
  • Senator Home Entertainment (2010) (Germany) (DVD)
  • Showgate (2009) (Japan) (all media)
  • Sundream Motion Pictures (2008) (Hong Kong) (all media)
  • Sundream Motion Pictures (2009) (Hong Kong) (all media)
  • Viva International Pictures (2009) (Philippines) (all media)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • SFX Department Berlin Special Effects (special effects: Berlin) (as SFX Department)
  • Flash Art GmbH (special effects: Cologne) (as Flash Art)
  • Framestore (visual effects by)
  • RhinoFX (visual effects by)
  • Custom Film Effects (visual effects by)
  • Snow Business

Visual Effects by:

  • Louie Alexander known as digital compositor: Framestore
  • Anton Anderson known as Flame assistant: RhinoFX
  • Lindsay Anderson known as digital compositor: Custom Film Effects (as Lindsay Hoppe)
  • Jamie Baxter known as digital compositor: Custom Film Effects
  • Ryan Beadle known as IO: Custom Film Effects
  • Zachary Bloom known as scanning and recording: Framestore
  • Clare Brody known as data operator – framestore
  • Cara Buckley known as visual effects producer: RhinoFX
  • John Bunt known as digital compositor: Custom Film Effects
  • Paul Burke known as scanning and recording: Framestore
  • Peter Chiang known as visual effects supervisor
  • Dayne Cowan known as visual effects supervisor: Double Negative
  • Zoran Cvetkovik known as digital matte painter: RhinoFX
  • Samuel M. Dabbs known as digital compositor: Custom Film Effects
  • Dennis Dorney known as digital editorial: Custom Film Effects
  • Mark Dornfeld known as visual effects supervisor: Custom Film Effects
  • Richard Edwards known as data operator – framestore
  • Michele Ferrone known as visual effects producer: Custom Film Effects
  • James Gambino known as digital compositor: Custom Film Effects
  • Adam Gass known as digital editorial: Custom Film Effects
  • Camille Geier known as executive producer: RhinoFX
  • Sarah Grieshammer known as digital compositor: Custom Film Effects
  • Adam Hawkes known as digital compositor: Framestore
  • Karsten Hecker known as film mastering engineer
  • Jan Hogevold known as visual effects producer: Framestore
  • Shaina Holmes known as digital artist: Custom Film Effects
  • Shaina Holmes known as supervisor: Custom Film Effects
  • Justin Israel known as digital compositor: Custom Film Effects
  • Petar Jovovic known as digital matte painting supervisor: RhinoFX
  • Nitant Karnik known as lead compositor: RhinoFX
  • Brian Krijgsman known as visual effects supervisor: Framestore
  • Paulina Kuszta known as visual effects coordinator: Custom Film Effects
  • Karin Levinson known as production executive: RhinoFX
  • Yuval Levy known as cg supervisor: RhinoFX
  • Laura Lunt known as visual effects production coordinator: Framestore
  • Veronica Marcano known as scanning & recording operator: Framestore
  • Hector Mejia known as IT engineer: RhinoFX
  • Bogdan Mihajlovic known as lead matchmove technical director: RhinoFX
  • Morgan Miller known as digital touch-up artist
  • Lauren Montuori known as visual effects production manager: RhinoFX
  • Jesse Morrow known as Smoke artist
  • Masha Nova known as digital compositor: Custom Film Effects
  • Adam Parker known as retouch and restoration: Framestore
  • Ivan Pribicevic known as 2D matte painter: RhinoFX (as Ivan Pribic'evic')
  • Kevin Quinlan known as visual effects artist
  • Lee Rankin known as scanning and recording: Framestore
  • David W. Reynolds known as Flame compositor: RhinoFX
  • Jim Rider known as visual effects supervisor: RhinoFX
  • Kevin Vale known as digital imaging
  • Dragan Veselinovic known as digital matte painter: RhinoFX
  • Dan Victoire known as digital compositor: Framestore
  • Manuel Llamas known as digital compositor (uncredited)

Release Date:

  • USA 10 December 2008 (New York City, New York)
  • USA 12 December 2008 (limited)
  • Ireland 2 January 2009
  • UK 2 January 2009
  • Greece 8 January 2009
  • Singapore 22 January 2009
  • USA 30 January 2009
  • Brazil 6 February 2009
  • Germany 6 February 2009 (Berlin International Film Festival)
  • Iceland 6 February 2009
  • Israel 12 February 2009
  • Portugal 12 February 2009
  • Thailand 12 February 2009
  • Spain 13 February 2009
  • Australia 19 February 2009
  • Italy 20 February 2009
  • Philippines 25 February 2009 (limited)
  • Germany 26 February 2009
  • Austria 27 February 2009
  • Belgium 4 March 2009
  • Malaysia 5 March 2009
  • Switzerland 5 March 2009 (German speaking region)
  • Norway 6 March 2009
  • Lebanon 12 March 2009
  • Slovenia 12 March 2009
  • Poland 13 March 2009
  • Hong Kong 19 March 2009
  • South Korea 26 March 2009
  • Czech Republic 27 March 2009 (Febio Film Festival)
  • Finland 27 March 2009
  • South Africa 27 March 2009
  • Taiwan 27 March 2009
  • Switzerland 1 April 2009 (French speaking region)
  • Netherlands 2 April 2009
  • Mexico 3 April 2009
  • Denmark 8 April 2009
  • Croatia 9 April 2009
  • New Zealand 9 April 2009
  • Turkey 10 April 2009
  • Czech Republic 23 April 2009
  • Hungary 23 April 2009
  • Bulgaria 24 April 2009
  • Sweden 24 April 2009
  • Argentina 7 May 2009
  • Panama 18 June 2009
  • Japan 19 June 2009
  • France 11 July 2009 (Paris Cinéma)
  • France 15 July 2009
  • Peru 27 August 2009
  • Colombia 11 September 2009

MPAA: Rated R for some scenes of sexuality and nudity (Approved No. 44922)



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

The Reader (2008) Related Movie

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , .


  1. The_Film_Addict from El Paso, Texas
    30 Mar 2012, 5:20 pm

    There's an urgency in human nature to understand. When it comes to theHolocaust, history's bleak, unsettling period, it doesn't matter whatbook you've read, film you've seen or account you've heard; in the end,your response it halted by its incomprehensible conclusion. How couldhumanity course its way towards such a violent, destructive path? Howcould people knowingly send men, women, and children to their impendingdoom? Most puzzling, how could the world allow it? Even though its been63 years since the blood-drenched annals of World War II, its aftermathtoday is still bone chilling.

    After a six year celluloid dry spell, Stephen Daldry returns to thedirector's chair in a brilliant, sexually charged, and oddlyheartbreaking tale about the complexity of human morality and thelifelong repercussions that result from our actions. Adapted fromBernhard Schlink's best-selling German novel, "The Reader," Daldry'svisual translation is a powerful, emotionally absorbing film that isone of the year's best. It's superbly crafted.

    With World War II over, Germany, in 1958, is still recovering. Deepwithin Heidelberg, Germany, Michael (David Kross), a young pubescentteenager haven fallen ill, is comforted by Hanna (Kate Winslet), a hardworking woman who is twice his age. Taken by her generosity, Michaelrevisits Hanna to offer his gratitude. What begins as an awkwardreunion escalates into a seductive, forbidden affair that intensifieswhen Michael begins reading to the distant, empty Hanna, who is deeplyawakened by Michael's spoken literature. Too young to understand love'scomplicated implications, Michael is emotionally devastated when Hannasuddenly disappears. Nearly a decade later, unable to forget hispassionate summer while studying law, he attends a Nazi trail, and tohis dismay, hears Hanna's distant voice.

    "The Reader" is a complex film; maybe a little too complex for some.Though the film pertains to Nazism and the "sins of our fathers," inessence, "The Reader" is a film that reflects the emotions inside allof us. During a lecture, Michael's professor comments, "Societies liketo think they operate on morality but they don't." In this cynical age,how far from reality is that statement? During Hanna's trial, she'squestioned why she participated in the Nazi party's horrendous warcrimes, broken she replies, "It was my job." Oddly enough, that seemsto be the justification most people use. Surprisingly, though, "TheReader" isn't about her exposure as a war criminal, but an exposure onan individual who took the wrong path. She's not a bad person; she'ssimply made wrong choices. However, when it comes to having involvementin the Nazi's liquidation of the Jews, how "wrong" can you get? "Youask us to think like lawyers," cries on student, "what are we trying todo?" A distraught Michael replies, "We are trying to understand!" But,just who exactly is trying to grasp a deeper understanding: the courtor Michael? How can Hanna's past be forgiven? Director Stephen Daldrybrings the much needed emotional layer that a character such as HannaSchmitz desperately needs. Although her actions are beyondunforgivable, strangely, we sympathize with her. Maybe it's her othershameful secret. Maybe it's superb character development.

    "The Reader" is a film that is driven by it's raw performances. In oneof her finest hours, Kate Winslet gives the performance of a lifetime.It's a haunting and heart-breaking. David Kross, who's only 18, isimpressive as the teenager with raging hormones; it's such a daringperformance. Winselt and Kross bring this picture together. Theirperformances are jaw-droppingly brilliant. Completing the role ofMichael, as the tortured grown man, is Ralph Fiennes, who balancesMichael's despair through his melancholic emotion when he encounters agrown Jewish woman, played by Lena Olin, who was also at Hanna's trail.Although her scenes clock in less than 10 minutes, Olin, too, isbreathtaking.

    When "The Reader's" credits rolled, I sat quietly shaken by what I hadwitnessed. It's a film that is impossible to forget. When a grownMichael asks Hanna, "Have you spent much time thinking about the past?"Heartbroken, she replies, "It doesn't matter what I think. It doesn'tmatter what I feel. The dead are still dead." She's right.

  2. Michael Fargo from San Francisco
    30 Mar 2012, 5:20 pm

    The film is a series of profound moral dilemmas—while contrived by theauthor, they are fair questions—that resonate deeply in the 21stCentury: The role of guilt in victims, perpetrators, individuals andcollectively, as well as justice, forgiveness, redemption, shame and,of course, literacy and its role in Western thought.

    All this is a pretty heady mix for a film, but Stephen Daldry (as with"The Hours" ) makes literary conceit play very naturally here. DavidHare's screenplay and the remarkable cinematography of the alwaysremarkable Roger Deakins together with a sensitive score by Nico Muhly,this is indeed rarefied film-making.

    But the actors are what drag the audience into this story. David Krossis amazing as the young Michael who has to play a range of virginalinnocent to wizened and bitter. It's the key role in the film, andwe're all lucky he was found to play this role. And the everconfounding Kate Winslet. What an amazing career for this youngactress! Running through a list of her credits, she has some of thebest performances of the last decade: "Holy Smoke," "EternalSunshine…," "Iris," "Finding Neverland," "Little Children." But hereshe does something very different. Playing what amounts to a monster,we see that they too are human. Not many actresses could bring thisoff, but it may be her greatest accomplishment to date.

    Ralph Fiennes brings a continuity to the work David Kross begins, andthere's a brief appearance by Lena Olin who commands the dignity therole deserves.

    I'm puzzled at the lukewarm reception to this film. I almost missedseeing it. And it turned out to be one of my favorite and the mostheart-rending films of the year. All involved should be very proud.

  3. hopek-1 from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 5:20 pm

    Very well acted and presented and a faithful representation of the mainpoints of the novel on which it is based. This film encourages us tolook closely at very difficult issues surrounding the atrocities ofWorld War II. I am at a loss to understand why so many critics havebeen so damning of it. Perhaps it is too subtle for them to understand.It seeks to outlaw the false and intellectually lazy theory to explainthe holocaust, namely that the horrors were committed by monsters. Inits place we are offered contextualization, not as excuse but asexplanation of how quite ordinary people were able to doextraordinarily dreadful things. We avoid these uncomfortable facts atour peril.

  4. alexkolokotronis from Queens, New York
    30 Mar 2012, 5:20 pm

    The Reader is one of my favorite movies from the year 2008. It isincredibly complex in the way you react to the characters of the movie.It carries many emotions from sensuality to anger all the way back tothat of sympathy and resolution. Many moves advertise themselves asunbiased and fair but nothing gets close to that like The Reader whichis able to build sympathy for a character you would never think youcould feel towards.

    The acting in the movie was phenomenal. Especially that of Kate Winsletwho draws out many emotions from whoever is watching. She plays anex-Nazi guard who has an affair with a 16 year old boy played very wellby David Kross. Her bitter, cold attitude, random behavior as well asher past history seems unjustifiable and deplorable. Yet you can donothing more than feel empathy and compassion towards the shame andhumiliation she feels about her one well kept secret. In the course ofher affair she ask for one thing, to be read to. From this do you seethe humanity within her. Ralph Fiennes also gave quite a niceperformance as an older Michael Berg who looks back on his life andthen later finds a way to open himself up through his time of selfreflection and sudden realizations towards life. David Kross plays theyounger Michael Berg whose performance was undoubtedly a very good one,maintaining his presence in not letting himself being totallyovershadowed. Overall the performances are very deep and will keep youthinking long after you have seen the movie.

    The directing and writing also was very key to the emotions felt inthis movie. Every scene had to be done precisely and consistently tofeel genuinely touched rather than feeling falsely drawn in. StephenDaldry did that under his great subtle direction. The writing by DavidHare allowed actors such as Ralph Fiennes, David Kross and of courseKate Winslet to give such stunning and deep performances and take thefilm to another level.

    I found this movie to be very compelling in many ways. The emotionsfelt here were not cheap gimmicks but that of feeling true sympathy andforgiveness towards what we would normally describe as something wrong,shameful and reprehensible. I can't remember another film that made mefeel these emotions for a character especially after learning onestartling secret after another. This film succeeded in ways that almostmovie would likely fail in, it did not come off as generous or lightbut as remarkably fair as a film or any type of medium can get sheddinglight on both sides of the spectrum. This is a film that is amazinglythought provoking and will bring out the humanity within all of us andshould not be missed.

  5. aharmas from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:20 pm

    Stephen Daldry knows how to tell a story, knows how important it is to make each of those characters relevant and indispensable, more importantly, emotions are finely portrayed, but it is the cerebral quality of his work that both impresses and irritates the audience. Somehow, he let go of his control and made “Billy Elliot” exuberant and glorious, with each note and emotion spilling out of the screen. His restraint might have lessened the impact of the dark nature of the tragedy in “The Hours”; somehow the balance continues in “The Reader”, a powerful testament to the complexity of humans and their interactions. In “The Reader” learning occurs, consequences, origins, and motivations are carefully explored and analyzed, leaving out some of the mystery for us to decide. Choice is key here, and some choices are carry a bigger weight than others.The marvelous Kate Winslet, who should be honoured for the quality of her work, with as much recognition as it is humanly possible portrays the central character of the story, a woman whose life might have been shaped by unfortunate events, mostly undisclosed to us, and some of her own genetic makeup. We, as the lawyers and the students in the film, get to evaluate the evidence and choose to make a statement to justify hers and our own ethical standpoints. It is the intricate and deft interpretation of Hannah that anchors the story. Although, the story follows Michael and their relationship from his teenage years to the devastating conclusion, the film succeeds because Winslet is able to show every bit of the confusion, rationale, and emotion that her character possesses. She seems cold and detached, but as we look, we discover that there is more to her than we can see from the moments we see her on the screen. Hannah carries secrets inside her soul, somehow keeping herself alive, surviving, living an austere existence that hypnotizes, seduces, and repulses those she encounters.Michael is seduced by this mysterious woman, and his own future is shaped by those moments they spend together. What he doesn’t realize is how big of an effect their time together will have on his life. Their early scenes are powerful and presented with a strong sense of realism and brevity. They’re probable the best of the film and might have to be reviewed to understand how key they are to the further growth of Michael’s life and reactions to others. Winslet does not say much, but her manipulations provoke her desired effects.As their paths diverge and meet, their relationship changes as one observes the dramatic turn of events that brings them together again, and how Michael’s actions have dire consequences for both of them. It is during this period that we think we begin to see how relative everything: what is moral and immoral, logic and emotional, simple and complex. Highs and lows are hit again, as we become more involved in one of the most powerful and dramatic moments of their lives.In the final act of the film is when Winslet and Feines do some of their most outstanding work ever; she even surpassing her masterful turns in “Revolutionary Road”, and “Eternal Sunshine”. Every gesture, every look, every enunciation add details and shed light to who they were, are and might become. It is subtle work, haunting, and bewitching, the work very few people are able to do.”The Reader” reaches its amazing conclusion with a couple of scenes that might break whatever little strength we might still have left. “The Reader” isn’t an important work, but it is a work that should be recognized by the quality of its work, a finely tuned and produced piece of cinema by people who recognize how magical, powerful, and intelligent films can be.

  6. ccthemovieman-1 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:20 pm

    Kate Winslet is just outstanding in this very interesting film that isalmost two stories-in-one. The first part is a sexual story of an olderwoman having affairs with a teenage boy and the second part is her warcrimes tale and what happens afterward. The first is a somewhat happyjaunt of a short story and the second is a very serious and depressingstory. That's where Winslet really shines. Obviously, she's developedinto an an outstanding actress.

    The second part is what most people, I assume, will remember about thisfilm. Can "Hanna Schmitz," a Nazi employee (so to speak), who was partof concentration camps, be a sympathetic character? To me, that's whatit looked like that's the question the story was asking. The answer mayhave come in the final minutes of the movie when her ex-lover "MichaelBerg," now grown up and played by Ralph Fiennes, confronts a survivorof the camp. That, too, was very intense and interesting scene. LenaOlin is riveting as "Rose/Illana Mather."

    "The Reader" was full of quiet, but intense scenes. This is a verythought-provoking film, especially for one that doesn't start off thatway but look almost like some soft-porn flick to get our attention. Itis anything but that.

    For Germans, this film must bring out many emotions and thoughts. Guiltand forgiveness are just two of the issues that are dealt with in thisunique film. "Hanna Schmitz" turns out to be an incrediblysimple-yet-complex person, unlike any I've encountered on film in along time. You see her in all kinds of light, both good and bad.

    Kudos, too, to David Kross' acting as the young Michael Berg. It mustbe strange for someone his age (barely turned 18) to do the scenes hedid with 30-something Winslet.

    Overall, a very different and excellent film that stays with you andmakes you ponder its main characters.

  7. Chris Knipp from Berkeley, California
    30 Mar 2012, 5:20 pm

    This isn't meet-cute. Fifteen-year-old schoolboy Michael Berg (DavidKross) first encounters his 36-year-old future lover Hanna Schmitz(Kate Winslet) by throwing up in her doorway. It's a dismal rainy dayin a German city in 1958 and he has taken ill on the way home fromschool. She cleans him up and accompanies him to his family. He turnsout to have scarlet fever, and is kept at home for months. Once he'swell again he goes back carrying a bunch of flowers to thank Hanna forher kindness, but realizes he's turned on, and bolts in embarrassmentwhile she's bathing. Eventually Michael returns and happily loses hisvirginity. A regular ritual of reading, bathing, and lovemakingdevelops between him and Hanna. He reads to her; she bathes him; thesex is mutual. She is a tram conductor with a harsh manner, and severalhuge secrets. She seems to be using Michael, but she's also enjoyinghim mightily, and he is reaping enormous rewards, though his affairputs pressure on his relations with family and schoolmates.

    Bernhard Schlink's original The Reader was an international bestseller.A lawyer and judge who writes, Schlink departed from his usualdetective stories with this novel that becomes a meditation onNazism–the denial of the surviving participants and theincomprehension of Germans like Michael who were born in the aftermath.Michael's feelings toward Hanna become much more complicated thansimply those of a youth introduced to love by an older woman–ascomplicated as the feelings of Germans about the demons in their modernpast. As for Hanna, she seems to understand nothing and to be moreconcerned about how she appears than what she has done.

    The book is in three parts. First there is the love affair of theschoolboy and the tram conductor, which ends abruptly and painfullywhen Hanna suddenly disappears. In the second part it's eight yearslater and Michael is a law student attending trials of Nazis withfellow students and their seminar teacher, Professor Rohl (Bruno Ganz).One day the young man is horrified and riveted to learn one of thedefendants is none other than his long lost Hanna. She turns out tohave been an SS guard at a satellite of Auschwitz and she's on trialwith five other women for allegedly allowing several hundred prisonersto burn to death locked inside a church. This trial paralyzes Michael.He has never gotten over his first, interrupted love idyll with Hanna.Now he is filled with guilt for having loved her but also a sense thathe should help her when he realizes he has information that might lowerher sentence.

    The last part, thirty years later, consists of several brief visits byMichael, first to Hanna in prison, then to the posh Manhattan flat of aJewish woman, Rose Mather (Lena Olin), who was at the trial. She wasone of the survivors and wrote a book about her experiences that wasused in evidence. This provides a kind of coda.

    Schlink's novel is neat and arresting, a page-turner that conceivablymakes you think. Its Holocaust issues are cunningly intertwined with asensuous–and rather peculiar–coming-of-age story told by a sensitiveman still struggling to understand his experience and his country's. Iread the book with interest, but found it a bit contrived. Thistogether with Stephen Daldry's previous choice to film MichaelCunningham's The Hours shows a weakness on the English director's partfor stories that are a little too clever and schematic.

    This time the screenplay by the British playwright David Hare doesdamage to the book by altering its chronology, chopping it up andmuddling the original linear three-part structure. Hare has said ininterviews that the interpolated device of Michael's telling his storyto his grown daughter was necessary to make sense of his voice-over.(That,however, is debatable.) Having settled on this device, Hare feltobligated to keep interjecting the mature Michael, played by RalphFiennes, at points throughout the film. The omnipresence of Fiennes'glum face undermines the sense of the young Michael's eagerness and,later, shock and confusion.

    Fiennes as Michael revisits a cosmetically aged Kate Winslet as Hannathree decades later when she is about to be released from prison.Michael could never bring himself to visit her, but sent her tapes ofhimself reading the same books he read to her during their affair.Fiennes is a cold fish, hard to relate to the lively and sweetpersonality of young David Kross.

    The film is hampered from the outset by its use of the outmodedartifice of dramatizing a story that takes place in another country andanother language and yet having everyone speak English, with several ofthe main characters played by Brits (Winslet, Fiennes) putting onGerman accents. Bruno Ganz speaks with less of a German accent thanthey do.

    There is much of interest in this glossy production, beautifullyphotographed on location by two of the best DP's in the business, ChrisMenges and Roger Deakins. Ganz's professor is an ambiguous, subtlecharacterization. But since the drama of the unfolding story has beendestroyed by breaking it up into pieces, the only thing that remainsalive and beautiful and strange are the love scenes between Kross andWinslet. There is good chemistry between the 18-year-old Kross and the34-year-old Winslet, and their nude scenes are bold and intimate. It'sonly when the machinery of what Schlink and the filmmakers are tryingto tell us about German guilt and denial goes into action that thingsbegin to be clunky and cold. Unfortunately, that is a big part of thepicture.

  8. Kristine ( from Chicago, Illinois
    30 Mar 2012, 5:20 pm

    Kate Winslet, I absolutely adore her, she's my favorite actress of alltime. I still can't believe that she hadn't won an Oscar, her firstnomination was in 1995 with Sense and Sensibility. Finally after 14long years, she finally won the coveted award with the movie TheReader. I finally was able to see this movie the other day and it blewme away, I'm still debating if this really was my favorite Kate Winsletperformance, but once again with a strong cast telling a powerfulstory, The Reader was definitely one of the best films out of 2008. Somany holocaust films have been made, it's hard to make another thatstands out, but we really haven't had a story where the Nazi guardswere on trial. A lot of people debate if this movie is trying too hardto push sympathy on Kate Winslet's character, but my love for this filmis to just show that they were human as well, hard to believe, but thatour mothers, sisters, friends, whoever could have done something soshameful.

    Michael Berg in 1995 Berlin watches an S-Bahn pass by, flashing back toa tram in 1958 Neustadt. A teenage Michael gets off because he isfeeling sick and wanders around the streets afterwards, finally pausingin the entryway of a nearby apartment building where he vomits. HannaSchmitz, the tram conductor, comes in and assists him in returninghome. The 36 year old Hanna seduces and begins an affair with the 15year old boy. During their liaisons, at her apartment, he reads to herliterary works he is studying. After a bicycling trip, Hanna learns sheis being promoted to a clerical job at the tram company. She abruptlymoves without leaving a trace. The adult Michael, a lawyer, atHeidelberg University law school in 1966. As part of a special seminartaught by Professor Rohl, a camp survivor, he observes a trial ofseveral women who were accused of letting 300 Jewish women die in aburning church when they were SS guards on the death march followingthe 1944 evacuation of Auschwitz. Hanna is one of the defendants.Stunned, Michael visits a former camp himself. The trial divides theseminar, with one student angrily saying there is nothing to be learnedfrom it other than that evil acts occurred and that the oldergeneration of Germans should kill themselves for their failure to actthen. But Michael is conflicted on what to do, if to speak out onHannah's behalf on some of her innocence in the murders or keep quiet.

    This is one of the most powerful movies I have ever seen, it was soincredible and just heart breaking. One of the things I respected aboutthe film was the way they handled the awkward "love story" betweenMichael and Hannah, she's older, he's younger, but it's not even aperverted thing, so strange to say that. I don't know how to put itexactly, but their connection was real and in some sense they bothneeded each other. If you have the chance to see this movie, Iseriously suggest that you take it, the powerful performances reallymake this film captivating. The story is so heart wrenching andpainful, but was told so well. Kate now finally has the award she'sdeserved for so long and pulls in a terrific performance with TheReader.


  9. John Patrick Moore (jpm-onfocus) from Silver Lake, CA
    30 Mar 2012, 5:20 pm

    David Hare wrote one of my favorite female characters in "Plenty",Meryl Streep brought her to life in the most extraordinary way. Here,Hare writes another power house female character. It doesn't have theintellectual aspirations of "Plenty" but there is also a form of mentalillness in his character. Kate Winslet is magnificent. Her early sceneswith the wonderful David Kross are filled with compelling,contradictory and totally believable undertones. My misgivings are tobe pinned on Stephen Daldry, the director. His sins as a filmmakerstart to become a sort of trade mark, visible and palpable in themoving "Billy Elliot" and the shattering "The Hours" I can't quitepinpoint what it is but in "The Reader" that element is more obviousthan in the other two. Maybe it has to do with loftiness. There aremoments so frustratingly long and slow here that he lost me in morethan one occasion. In any case, the cast makes this film a rewardingexperience. Besides Kate Winslet and David Kross. The tortured RalphFinnes has a couple of wonderful moments as well as Bruno Ganz and LinaOlin in a dual role.

  10. GoneWithTheTwins from
    30 Mar 2012, 5:20 pm

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