Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Reader

Based on a novel by Bernard Schlink, Stephen Daldry’s extraordinarily compelling film, The Reader, features one of the most outstanding performances in the history of cinema. Kate Winslet more than deserved (and won) the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2008. The film masterfully explores moral ambiguity with rarely seen maturity, just nailing the terror of the situation:

"What would you have done?"

I can think of few films that explore such a wide spectrum of human emotions, from shame to guilt to rage to affection to confusion to compassion to doubt to pain to sheer terror. They are all there and not superficially. A father myself, I find the Ralph Fiennes scenes with his daughter particularly touching, especially in the graveyard at the end. The Reader is first rate, top notch cinema that should not be missed.

The experience of watching the film provided an insight regarding the Academy Award program. Without having seen the performances and films being recognized, one can’t understand the context of the awards. I think I saw Winslet win the award. If I had seen her performance before hand, there would be no doubt. Few experiences are more moving than watching the truly gifted perform their mastery.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Liza said...

Thanks for the recommendation, X4mr.

It does seem to be true that there are finally some actresses out there of the Meryl Streep quality. For a long time it seemed as though the only actresses making it were the ones who were starring in the "date movies" or playing secondary roles.

4/18/2009 5:06 PM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

I've seen the film, and x4mr's write up is outstanding. The film is excellent, and Winslet's performance will make your eyes well up.

I have a film for those who can appreciate a fully intelligent, historically accurate and telling set of fine content and performances about reality. It's not well known, but I will vouche for it as one of those terrific movies that both entertains and educates at the same time.

The Wind That Shakes the Barley is a strong recommend people like Sirocco, Texpat, x4mr, and in particular Liza.

4/18/2009 7:39 PM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

I forgot to say that is a highly telling story about the roots of the IRA in Ireland. Because the Irish accents are so authentic and strong, I recommend turning on the English subtitles.

Partially due to reading this blog and then having to visit the news sites, I have had dark moments about everything. Films like "The Reader" and the one I just mentioned help me have hope that sanity and understanding will ultimately win.

4/18/2009 7:48 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Nav,
One can only hope, and I have seen the film you recommend and concur wholeheartedly. The film probably provides more insight into politics than most political science courses.

4/18/2009 9:26 PM  
Anonymous Observer said...

The Reader is a fantastic movie. It's scope is truly extraordinary when you consider all that it addresses.

4/19/2009 1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A truly magnificent film. Winslet deserved the award.

4/19/2009 5:09 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

Navigator,
I've never heard of that film. Thanks for the recommendation.

4/19/2009 8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The film points to more truth than most know.

Those people were given jobs to do. They didn't have access to whole picture. They were just trying to live their lives. It's simply not reasonable to expect a normal person seeking to have a job and pay bills to take on the system.

If you thought the system that feeds your children had issues, would you really speak out? You flatter yourselves. If the true truth, the real truth, the naked truth were told, you could all be illiterate guards. Every one of us could be her. That's the point of the film.

4/19/2009 11:18 PM  

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