Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Reader

You cannot imagine how impossible it is to find a movie poster for this film...
thanks wikipedia, you have the only one on the whole internet!

So what is this one about?
Netflix describes this film as
Michael Berg (Ralph Fiennes) reflects on the formative sexual relationship he had with older woman Hanna Schmitz (Kate Winslet) as a young teenager in this poignant drama (nominated for a Best Picture Golden Globe) set in post-World War II Germany. The passionate affair ended when Hanna disappeared. But years later, Michael learns she's on trial for horrific Nazi war crimes. David Kross plays the teenage Michael in this film based on Bernhard Schlink's best-seller.
And how much did I pay to watch?
Nothing. Because I am a baller who has friends who work at movie theatres and let me and my mom (who is so pumped for these events) in fo free!

And what did I think?
You know, I am always torn. I see a preview for a movie that looks excellent: The Reader, Revolutionary Road (*angels sing*), The Constant Gardener, etc. Then I don't know if I should read the book before I see the movie, or see the movie before I read the book. You pretty much always know that the book will be better. Books are better forms that films. A film maker can put so much less in a film than is in the book...I mean, just look at the Harry Potter films for proof! But, if you see the movie first, it is all new, and can therefore have the punch you in the stomach goodness that you rarely get when you read the book (except, of course, when Dumbledore died in HP6...sorry if you haven't read it!)

Well, I read The Reader before I saw the movie, and I think this one is a good example of the book ruining the movie. Now, don't get me wrong, the movie was good and the book was great... but, when I saw my mom reacting to the plot with absolute shock, I couldn't, because I already knew what was going to happen. Not only that, but I kept thinking in my head that Steve Daldry didn't take advantage of the amazing narration that Bernhard Schlink wrote. It was beautiful.

And there are things in the book that cannot translate to film without seeming contrived. Michael Berg, as the narrator in the book, communicated things to the readers that would have been impossible to show--his memories of Hanna, his confusion about his role in the guilt of the Holocaust (as a German). However, there were things that the film showed that the book couldn't, like how Berg felt once he heard what Hanna had done in the camps. In the book one can only imagine his reaction, but on film he reacted in a way I hadn't imagined. And seeing it in person I realized that his acting of the situation really couldn't have been any other way. It was spot on.

But, film is a different medium than the written word. And, I love film (big surprise), and I love these actors. Man oh man.

I thought it was really funny that the young actors were all Germans but when they were adults they were all British. And David Kross was amazing--as he is in everything--as was Kate Winslet. But, Kate Winslet is amazing in everything too. She is a goddess. She is perfect in everything she is in. But, this isn't supposed to be an entry that is a love letter to Kate Winslet...when I finally see Revolutionary Road, I am sure that entry will be. (God, I cannot wait to see that one!) And, the funny thing is, Kate Winslet was originally asked to play Hanna, but she had to decline because of RR. Then Nicole Kidman was cast, but she had to drop out because she got preggers. Then Kate Winslet could be in The Reader because she was done with RR. God, can you imagine if Nicole Kidman had played the role of Hanna Schmitz? It would have been a fucking disaster! Comparing Nicole Kidman to Kate Winslet is acting like Britney Spears will win an Oscar. (god, more talk of Oscars....ugh) I mean, she isn't that bad, she's been downright delightful in things, but Kate Winslet is amazing.

Anyway, like I said, I think the problem with this movie was that I read the book first. The emotional impact of this film comes from it being a total, knock you off your feet suprise. Don't read the book first. Go see the movie first. Then read the book.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Even though it didn't have a big impact on me, I can tell this movie was good. I am going to give it an 8. I was gonna say a 7, but I will give it an 8, because my sadness of already knowing what was going to happen doesn't say the film wasn't good.

It was. It is going to be a big deal this awards season. Kate Winslet is going to win an Oscar, it will be exciting!!


Anonymous said...

No offense, but Kidman would have been fantastic in the Reader, far better than Winslet. This is the type of role that Kidman absolutely shines in.

this is not a joke said...

I just have such a hard time picturing Nicole Kidman as a believable former SS Guard. She is almost too pretty and doesn't have the same hard edge that Kate Winslet does.

e5universe said...

hey ur out of ur lunacy and decency to think that nicole is like britney winning the oscars??!!! i abhor ur colossal misconception about my idol nicole!
how atrocious can u get?! ur a movie junkie and u cant separate nicole,an oscar winner from britney???!!! nyahahahahaha ur credibility as a film reviewer is goin down the drain dahlin'

this is not a joke said...

is that a joke?