Monday, January 12, 2009

The dead are still dead

Kate Winslet won the first of her two Golden Globes last night for The Reader, a fascinating character study about a 15-year old German boy who has an affair with an older women and later finds out that she was an S.S. guard in Nazi Germany.  The film centers around lies and secrets while telling an intriguing tale of sexual awakening and devastating choices. 

Winslet certainly deserves her Golden Globe victory (for this and for Revolutionary Road) and I hope she wins the Oscar as well.  She conveys the conflict and turmoil of Hannah Schmitz perfectly.  The star of the film though is 18 year old German actor David Kross, who tackles this daring role of Michael Berg with great talent and precision.  His innocence taken, Michael becomes a shell, played in adulthood by Ralph Fiennes.  

Stephen Daldry has done a wonderful job capturing all the right emotions here, and these emotions run the whole scale.  At times lovely, at times disturbing, The Reader touches on issues of choices, forgiveness, love, lust, and secrets that haunt us.  It is a very good film with amazing performances.


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