Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I could write a longer more detailed post about the Reader but (and I apologize for the selfishness), I know I am going to have to be very upset about it come the Oscars in a few weeks and I would like to just forget it until then and save myself some aggravation.

(This might contain SPOILERS as certain things are only clumsily revealed midway through the movie, but I knew them weeks before watching the film and it's not very good anyways).

You might think the Reader would have something to say about reading. It does. It says "reading is important". It has perhaps even less to say about the Holocaust, which is one of the main reasons that it is such a terrible film. Winslet's Hannah is a very troubled character and we seem to be asked to develop some sort of sympathy for her because all of her problems stem from her illiteracy and her shame about being illiterate (and not at all from going above and beyond the call of duty to kill Jews). At one point in the film one of the two Jewish characters has a conversation with Ralph Fiennes (a grown up who had an affair with Hannah as a child). For one, she tells him to seek catharsis in the theater or in literature but not in the death camps. Later in the conversation she changes her tone from outrage at Fiennes (which nicely mirrored my outraged at this film) to a friendliness, seemingly granting him (if not his SS lover) a sort of absolution and catharsis. She adds a final note of self-congratulation to a shallow, stupid, offensive film that deserves no congratulation besides the fact that the shots are well-enough composed and the acting is fairly professional. Fuck this movie.

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