So you fall in love with an older woman and as it turns out she used to be a Nazi guard at a Jewish prison camp. Hey, it happens to all of us! That is the premise of Stephen Daldry’s “The Reader”, and being that this is from the man who gave us the unfathomably dull “The Hours”, you can expect to have something less than a happy ending. I’m guessing Kate Winslet’s ex-Nazi character gets hung, or more likely, horribly burnt and then raped to death. That would be so much more depressing, and guaranteed to win awards. Mainstream movie critics love depressing shit, don’t you know? Trailer and images from what is sure to be the feel-good movie of the year below.
The Reader opens in post-WWII 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 haunting story about truth and reconciliation, about how one generation comes to terms with the crimes of another.
The Reader stars Ralph Fiennes, David Kross and Kate Winslet, and is directed by Stephen Daldry (the Academy Award nominated director of THE HOURS), from a script by David Hare, and based on the award winning novel by Bernhard Schlink. Schlink’s The Reader has been translated into 39 languages and was the first German novel to reach number one on The New York Times Bestseller List.
The Weinstein Company will release The Reader in theaters on December 10, 2008 in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The film will expand on December 25, 2008 and open nationwide on January 9, 2009.
Starring Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, Alexandra Maria Lara, Bruno Ganz, Volker Bruch, David Kross, Karoline Herfurth, and directed by Stephen Daldry (“The Hours)”.
Get your reading glasses ready December 10, 2008.