Friday, February 27, 2009

The Reader

I saw The Reader last night. It's a very sad story, but the film is great. Kate Winslet earned that Oscar. The film is based on the book by Bernhard Schlink.

David Kross, a fantastic German actor, plays the young Michael Berg. One summer when he was 15, he has an affair with Hanna Schmitz (Winslet) who was 36-years-old. Hanna is illiterate, and he reads books to her including The Odyssey and her favorite The Lady with the Little Dog. One day Hanna leaves without notice, and Michael is heartbroken.

Ten years later, Michael sees her again when he is in law school attending a trial of women Nazi S.S. guards. He discovers that Hanna was one of those guards, and she is back in his life. Michael has the power to save Hanna from prison, but he does not.

Ralph Fiennes plays the older Michael. He spent his entire life trying to understand what happened with the woman who he had a relationship with as a teenager. It is a story of love, forgiveness and redemption. You won't leave the theater feeling great, but the story is powerful and the acting is exceptional.

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