Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Reader: A Film Review

Director: Stephen Daldry
Starring: Kate Winlet, Ralph Fiennes, David Kross

This is one of the times when I'll have seen the movie before reading the book it was based on. So, there will be no comparisons, just a straight shot review.

I really liked this movie. I thought it was shot beautifully, each scene flowing well into the next. It never seemed choppy and there were never any breaks that took away from the story. The scenery was great, too, the buildings and such all looking authentic for the time period.

The actors, I thought, were well cast. Kate Winslet did an amazing job as Hannah, and I liked David Kross. He did a good job with the character.

The premise of the story is what drew me in. The sordid love affair and the role of having to deal with consequences for one's actions. The relationship between Kross and Winslet was believable. It was realistic. I think the two actors worked well together; it worked. The vulnerability of Hannah was played extremely well by Winslet, and the naivety was played well by Kross (and Fiennes did a good job of playing an older Michael). I loved the scenes where he read to her. It was well done, and I really enjoyed them.

I also loved the court scenes. Not only did Winslet play the part convincingly, but whenever the camera would capture Kross, the viewer could see the pain in his face at what was happening, and the viewer could see what touch decisions he was tossing back and forth in his head.

There were some tiny plot holes, such as why Hannah's lawyer didn't know her secret, unless she never had to sign anything in front of him, which I find a bit unlikely. But, all in all, the film worked. It was realistic and believable.

The Reader is a movie I would watch again, though I'll probably try to read the novel first.

Overall rating: 8/10

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