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The Reader movie review

Updated on November 9, 2012

The Reader movie photo

The Reader starring Kate Winslet
The Reader starring Kate Winslet | Source

Movie Review for The Reader

A young boy is caught in the rain on the road. He cries because he feels so ill. He is helped by a woman, a character played by Kate Winslet. She walks him home and he is later bed ridden with scarlet fever for three months.

When he recovers, he goes to thank her with flowers. She tells him to wait while she gets ready for work and she'll walk out with him. He peeks while she dresses. She gets upset (or pretends to get upset). He runs away from her place but returns soon thereafter.

So, their liaison begins:

"What's your name?"
"Hanna."

"What's yours, kid?"
"Michael."

This after they'd already slept together three times.

Michael is very young with a certain naivete and tries to show love with romantic gestures like showing up on the train Hanna works on but waiting in the second car while she is in the first car, until the end of her shift.

She gets upset. They argue. He says that he did not mean to upset her. She says, "You don't have the power to upset me. You don't matter enough to upset me." He leaves, cries about the scathing remark, returns.

They reconcile. He asks if she loves him. She says yes. He continues to read works such as The Odyssey by Homer, to her in bed. One book that he reads to her is erotic. She says it is disgusting and says he should be ashamed of himself for getting that book but asks him to continue reading it, in contradiction.

They go to lunch and later, when Michael pays for the food, the server says, I hope your mother was happy. He then passionately kisses Hanna in front of the woman who commented, to prove that Hanna is not his mother despite the big age difference between them (It is sort of a How Stella Got Her Groove Back moment.)

The character Michael is only 16, played by the then 18 year old actor, David Kross for love scenes.
Kate Winslet plays Hanna, the older woman in the mid 30s.

Michael later develops a crush on a girl his own age, Sophie. He starts making visits to the beach with her and other kids his own age. He makes excuses that he was stuck late at school when he runs late in visiting Hanna.

Hanna acts emotionally withdrawn, pushing Michael away. Michael complains that she never asks how he is? i.e.- She didn't even know it was his birthday that day.

They argue, they fight, they make love. She tells him to go back to his friends now. When he does, the film takes a turn....

This is an excellent film. I rate it 5/5***** stars.
Based on the novel by Bernhard Schlink
Screenplay by David Hare
A thought provoking film surrounding the events of the Holocaust in its second half.
Cast: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, David Kross and more
Production Company: Weinstein Co.
Director: David Hare

MPAA (Motion Picture of America Rating) = R: restricted, under 17 yrs must be accompanied by an adult

Catholic News Service Rating = 'L' : limited adult audience, watch with caution if particularly sensitive to or easily disturbed by images of violence including a suicide; nudity; underage sex
Running time 123 minutes

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    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for this information. It allows me to make up my mind here and now on whether or not this is my kind of movie.

    • Journey * profile image
      Author

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 5 years ago from USA

      Hi MsDora,

      Thanks so much for commenting. Regarding the information, you're welcome. I'm glad to share it. Kate Winslet's character Hanna's behaviors are wrong in so many ways but Kate plays the character so well. You see that she is definitely a gifted actress.

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