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Monday, January 26, 2009

The Reader

Nominated for Best Actress (Kate Winslet), Best Director (Stephen Daldry), Best Picture, Cinematography, and Adapted Screenplay, The Reader is the story of a boy, Michael, and the older woman, Hanna, with whom he has an affair that shapes his life. Set in Germany, the film begins in 1958 when 15 year-old Michael, falling ill in the street on the way home from school, is aided by Hanna. When he recovers and goes back to thank her, a bond is formed and a relationship begins. Michael is heartbroken when Hanna unexpectedly leaves town without telling him at the end of the summer. Years later, when Michael's a law student at Heidelberg, they cross paths again and she changes his life once more. As a young man in the 80's, he then returns the favor by alerting Hanna's circumstances. Finally, in the 90's, Michael is able to openly admit the powerful effect his first love truly had on him.

I was SO happy when Kate Winslet got the Best Actress nod for this. She won the Supporting Actress Golden Globe for this role, but I thought her performance here was far surperior to Revolutionary Road, for which she won the Lead Actress Golden Globe. There is much more to the story than my thumbnail synopsis gave (I did that on purpose) and the performances across the board are fabulous. Although this movie is dark and intense, it is a definite must-see for everyone except our mothers!

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