Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Reader

This is a very sad story. Not a tears-sad story as I didn’t shred a tear; but I’m still very sad, I’m still thinking about the movie and I’ve been trying to do things to overcome the sadness. It’s impossible to not know what the movie is about as this is another movie that had an impressive marketing effort and most know that is the story of a young woman that one summer has an affair with a very young boy and that’s exactly what this movie is about. But the story has many layers and is definitively intense, smart and complex.

The power of the movie relies in the great performances by actors but also in a director, Stephen Daldry, that constructed the movie in such an interesting and powerful way, from the affair with many nude scenes that made me think that not many films allow themselves to portrait real life (we are nude in our houses especially when we live alone and make love) to the pain and shame in the trial until the end of Hanna days and the final liberation of Michael. Very nice! But definitively extraordinary editing allowed crisscrossing time so effectively that is absolutely remarkable.

Definitively looks and feels like excellent European cinema with superb cinematography, well above production values and remarkable performances. Before watching the movie I imagined that Kate Winslet had no supporting role (remember the Golden Globes?) but now I can tell you that she has a lead role quite different from Revolutionary Road and now I understand why she was nominated for this movie and not the other as here she’s impressive, remarkable, unforgettable, touching and her character plus her performance makes you feel all sort of contradictory emotions. But also young Michael performed by David Kross is totally credible and is amazing the sensual/sexual chemistry that both have in the screen.

I was most pleasantly surprised by the small but intense performance by Lena Olin, but then for me is always a true pleasure to watch her on the big screen and the same goes to Ralph Fiennes. Daldry’s three multiple Oscar nominated movies (Billy Elliot, The Hours and The Reader) have great casts, but I tend to believe that definitively The Reader has the best thespians as an ensemble.

As we all know by now the movie has 5 nominations for the Oscars, including best picture and best actress for Kate Winslet. I still have to see Rachel Getting Married and should wait until I see it to give my Oscar; but until this moment Kate Winslet has my Oscar for Best Actress. You can browse the blog for the many honors this movie has, including Kate Winslet winning the Golden Globe for her “supporting” role in this movie.

Definitively a must be seen movie that surely will please more adult audiences than younger and one that I do recommend to women around the world, as to me is one of the saddest woman stories (even if some may say that is a man story, but not me) I have seen lately that could make you think a lot. But if you cannot deal with a sad movie I suggest you find the right moment to watch the movie.

The movie has not been getting good reviews from critics’ with about half liking the movie and the other half not; so there are chances that some of you readers will like it and some will not. I did like the movie, was impressed by actors performances, beautiful cinematography and excellent production values, but have to admit that is not your regular American cinema drama, this is more similar to excellent European cinema.


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