The Reader is a 2008 romantic drama film directed by Stephen Daldry and written by David Hare, based on the 1995 German novel of the same name by Bernhard Schlink. It stars Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, and David Kross. It was the last film for producers Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack, both of whom died prior to its release. Production began in Germany in September 2007, and the film opened in limited release on December 10, 2008.
Although it received mixed reviews, Winslet and Kross, who plays the young Michael, received acclaim for their performances; Winslet won a number of awards for her role, including the Academy Award for Best Actress. The film was nominated for several other major awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture.
In April 1998 Miramax Films acquired the rights to the novel The Reader, and principal photography began in September 2007 immediately after Stephen Daldry was signed to direct the film adaptation and Fiennes was cast in a lead role. Winslet was originally cast as Hanna, but scheduling difficulties with Revolutionary Road led her to leave the film and Nicole Kidman was cast as her replacement. In January 2008, Kidman left the project, citing her recent pregnancy as the primary reason. She had not filmed any scenes yet, so the studio was able to recast Winslet without affecting the production schedule.
Schlink insisted the film be shot in English rather than German, as it posed questions about living in a post-genocide society that went beyond mid-century Germany. Daldry and Hare toured locations from the novel with Schlink, viewed documentaries about that period in German history, and read books and articles about women who had served as SS guards in the camps. Hare, who rejected using a voiceover narration to render the long internal monologues in the novel, also changed the ending so that Michael starts to tell the story of Hanna and him to his daughter. "It's about literature as a powerful means of communication, and at other times as a substitute for communication", he explained. The filming of sex scenes with Kross and Winslet were delayed until Kross turned 18.
The primary cast, all of whom were German besides Fiennes, Olin, and Winslet, decided to emulate Kross's accent since he had just learned English for the film. Chris Menges replaced Roger Deakins as cinematographer. One of the film's producers, Scott Rudin, left the production over a dispute about the rushed editing process to ensure a 2008 release date and had his name removed from the credit list. Rudin differed with Harvey Weinstein "because he didn't want to campaign for an Oscar along with Doubt and Revolutionary Road, which also stars Winslet." Winslet won the Best Actress Academy Award for The Reader. Marc Caro wrote, "Because Winslet couldn't get Best Actress nominations for both movies, the Weinstein Co. shifted her to supporting actress for The Reader as a courtesy ..." but that it is "... up to [the voters] to place the name in the category that they think is appropriate to the performance", resulting in her receiving more Best Actress nomination votes for this film than the Best Actress submission of her Revolutionary Road performance. Winslet's head-to-head performances also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for Revolutionary Road and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for The Reader.
On December 10, 2008 The Reader had a limited release at 8 theaters and grossed $168,051 at the domestic box office in its opening weekend. The film had its wide release on January 30, 2009 and grossed $2,380,376 at the domestic box office. The film's widest release was at 1,203 theaters on February 27, 2009, the weekend after the Oscar win for Kate Winslet.
In total, the film has grossed $34,194,407 at the domestic box office and $108,901,967 worldwide. The film was released on DVD in the U.S. on April 14, 2009 and April 28 on Blu-ray. Both versions were released in the UK on May 25, 2009. In Germany two DVD versions (single disc and 2-disc special edition) and Blu-ray were released on September 4, 2009.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 63% based on 204 reviews, with an average rating of 6.4/10. The site's consensus states, "Despite Kate Winslet's superb portrayal, The Reader suggests an emotionally distant, Oscar-baiting historical drama." At Metacritic the film was assigned a weighted average score of 58 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Patrick Goldstein wrote in the Los Angeles Times, "The picture's biggest problem is that it simply doesn't capture the chilling intensity of its source material," and noted there was a "largely lackluster early reaction" to the film by most film critics. Most felt that while the novel portrayed Hanna's illiteracy as a metaphor for generational illiteracy about the Holocaust, the film failed to convey those thematic overtones.
Kirk Honeycutt's review in The Hollywood Reporter was more generous, concluding the picture was a "well-told coming-of-age yarn" but "disturbing" for raising critical questions about complicity in the Holocaust. He praised Winslet and Kross for providing "gutsy, intense performances", noted that Olin and Ganz turn in "memorable appearances", and noted that the cinematographers, Chris Menges and Roger Deakins, lent the film a "fine professional polish". Colm Andrew of the Manx Independent also rated the film highly and observed it had "countless opportunities to become overly sentimental or dramatic and resists every one of them, resulting in a film which by its conclusion, has you not knowing which quality to praise the most".
The film appeared on several critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2008. Rex Reed of The New York Observer named it the second best film of 2008. Stephen Farber of The Hollywood Reporter named it the fourth best film of 2008, Tasha Robinson of The A.V. Club named it the eighth best film of 2008, and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times placed it on his unranked top 20 list.
Several writers noted that her success seemed to have made real her appearance in the BBC comedy Extras, in which she played a fictionalized version of herself desperate to win an Academy Award. In the episode, Winslet decided to increase her chance of winning an Oscar by starring in a film about the Holocaust, noting that such films were often awarded Oscars. However, in the fictional film, Winslet played a nun sheltering children from the Holocaust rather than one of its perpetrators. Winslet commented that the similarity "would be funny", but the connection didn't occur to her until "midway through shooting the film...this was never a Holocaust movie to me. That's part of the story and provides something of a backdrop, and sets the scene. But to me it was always an extraordinarily unconventional love story."
Schlink's book was well received in his native country and elsewhere, winning several awards. Der Spiegel wrote that it was one of the greatest triumphs of German literature since Günter Grass's The Tin Drum. It sold 500,000 copies in Germany and was listed 14th of the 100 favorite books of German readers in a television poll in 2007. It won the German Hans Fallada Prize in 1998, and became the first German book to top The New York Times bestselling books list. It has been translated into 45 different languages and has been included in the curricula of college-level courses in Holocaust literature and German language and German literature. It was adapted by David Hare into the 2008 film of the same name directed by Stephen Daldry; the film was nominated for five Academy Awards, with Kate Winslet winning for her portrayal of Hanna Schmitz.
The film version, adapted by David Hare and directed by Stephen Daldry, was released in December 2008. Kate Winslet played Hanna, with David Kross as the young Michael and Ralph Fiennes as the older man. Bruno Ganz and Lena Olin played supporting roles. It was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture. Winslet won the Oscar for leading actress.
Not a lot is said in this three-hour film, but when words (and signals) are shared, they are always underlaid with simple but transcendent truths. Drive My Car is a gripping film that explores love and loss in its own quiet way, at once intense and intimate.
The cheapest live TV services for cord-cutting are the free ones: Pluto TV, Xumo, and Local Now. There are paid ones that cost very little, like Philo, Frndly TV, and Sling (especially the individual Blue or Orange plans).
Star (Sasha Lane) runs away with Jake (Shia Laboeuf), a traveling magazine salesman with more experience on the road. The freedom is tempting at first, especially given her difficult situation at home, but Star is quickly confronted with the risks that come with running away.
This audiobook is more suitable for intermediate and advanced learners, as some of the vocabulary and grammar structures may be more difficult to understand at first. Along with the free YouTube version above, you can also check for the audiobook version at the likes of Amazon.de and Audible.
The German version of Amazon features a wide range of audiobooks for all genres and tastes. Fans of CDs will be delighted, as that is the main medium in which they are sold here. However, downloads are also available, many of them for free.
Although US media productions dominate the international market for legal fiction, German TV shows, especially police series, became a success story as well. They project the image of the clean, unbiased, correct, and efficient police inspector. Critical films and programs aim mainly at the domestic market due to their specific issues. Nevertheless, the overall effect of German popular fiction dealing with crime and justice tends to be positive, with trust in the law being supported. 2b1af7f3a8