The Reader (2008) Review

Nominated for Best Picture at this years Oscars. Kate Winslet is also nominated in the Leading Role might I add. This seemed to cause some confusion with Kate winning supporting role at the Golden Globe awards.


I found “The Reader” very difficult to watch in parts, with young Michael (David Kross) only being 15 to begin with (yes I know the actor was 18, but that’snot the point). I guess this was the idea though, to make the audience uncomfortable with what they were watching. She taught him how to “make love” as they put it in the film and he used to read to her, all types of books and plays. At first it is not evident why she wants to be read to so much.

On his 16th birthday he goes to see her and they end up arguing and she tells him to go back to his friends. This was then the last time he saw her for a few years until he was studying Law at University and watching a trial of women who were involved in Nazi war crimes. Nearly a decade after his affair with Hanna. Michael is then torn between what he morally thinks is correct when he realises Hanna is one of the women facing a charge for this hideous crime.

I found it rather difficult throughout the film to keep track on how many years had passed and at some points what was going on. With the flashbacks but then being back to the present day, this could have been made a lot clearer as there was quite a bit of information to undertake when watching. It was rather intense and difficult, but at the same time a good tale of how your first love or just first affair can really have a hold onto you for the rest of your life, and no matter how much you change or move on something still draws you back to this one person.

While Hanna is in prison Michael begins to record his voice reading every book he has in his house and that he can get a hold of and sends them to Hanna in prison. He never went to visit her though, but as she was listening to the recordings she begin to get the books and eventually taught herself to read and write. When it gets to her impending release from prison Michael is contacted as she has no other contact in the outside world. I will not spoil the ending as while part of it became evident while watching I would not of liked to have known the ending before watching. I defiantly think this is worth watching, but you really do have to pay close attention to the whole time scale as does get a bit choppy in parts. Fantastic performances from David Kross as young Michael and then Ralph Fiennes as older Michael.

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