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Reader (Blu-ray)

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Great drama, makes you think a little, great cast

by Lil Anthnee on 4/2/2012

Shows the realization of trying to survive the horrors of the war and what one does to try to survive. Then it takes you to present day to see where the choices made have brought you to.

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Product Overview

The Reader opens in post-WWII Germany when teenager Michael Berg becomes ill and is helped home by Hanna, a stranger twice his age.?Michael recovers from scarlet fever and seeks out Hanna to thank her. The two are quickly drawn into a passionate but secretive affair.

Michael discovers that Hanna loves being read to and their physical relationship deepens. Hanna is enthralled as Michael reads to her from "The Odyssey," "Huck Finn," and "The Lady with the Little Dog." Despite their intense bond, Hanna mysteriously disappears one day and Michael is left confused and heartbroken.

Eight years later, while Michael is a law student observing the Nazi war crime trials, he is stunned to find Hanna back in his life -- this time as a defendant in the courtroom.?As Hanna's past is revealed, Michael uncovers a deep secret that will impact both of their lives.?The Reader is a haunting story about truth and reconciliation, about how one generation comes to terms with the crimes of another.


Studio Universal (Music)
SKU 210755025
UPC 796019819596
UPC 14 00796019819596
Format Blu-Ray DVD
Release Date 7/28/2009
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Oscar (2009) Anthony Minghella, et. al., Nominee, Best Motion Picture of the Year,Chris Menges, Roger Deakins, Nominee, Best Achievement in Cinematography,David Hare, Nominee, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published,Kate Winslet, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role,Stephen Daldry, Nominee, Best Achievement in Directing
British Academy Awards (2009) Anthony Minghella, et. al., Nominee, Best Film,Kate Winslet, Winner, Best Leading Actress
Golden Globe (2009) David Hare, Nominee, Best Screenplay - Motion Picture,Kate Winslet, Winner, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture,Stephen Daldry, Nominee, Best Director - Motion Picture,The Reader, Nominee, Best Motion Picture - Drama
Screen Actors Guild (2009) Kate Winslet, Winner, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review The Reader is closer to a near miss than a rousing success but, on balance, this is still worth seeing for those who enjoy complexity and moral ambiguity within the context of a melodrama. Based on the novel by Bernhard Schlink, the film asks big questions about the nature of evil and how sin, like disease, can be contagious. And, while not making excuses for those who participated in the Holocaust, The Reader becomes the latest Nazi-related motion picture to question whether redemption is an option or a possibility for someone who has committed monstrous acts...For the most part, the movie is a faithful adaptation of the book when it comes to large plot points, but the devil is in the details. Subtleties and nuances that exist in the novel and which can be presented in the first-person narrative are missing from the more straightforward movie...In one sense, The Reader is as difficult a film as The Boy in the Striped Pajamas in that both films show how the horror of Auschwitz was hidden behind a curtain of ordinariness. At one point during The Reader, one character condemns not only the likes of Hanna but the whole of the previous generation of Germans for their willful ignorance of what was happening to the Jews. This question of responsibility and culpability has left a deep scar on the collective German consciousness that even now has not healed, and there are indications of it spread throughout The Reader. So, although Stephen Daldry's (Billy Elliot) film falls short of the greatness for which it strives, it is nevertheless a workmanlike adaptation. And there is enough intelligent, compelling material here to make it worthwhile as a meditation about the post-World War II implications of the Holocaust upon the German psyche and as the tale of the tragedy suffered by one man because, at a vulnerable time of his life, he fell in love with the wrong person.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review The crucial decision in "The Reader" is made by a 24-year-old youth, who has information that might help a woman about to be sentenced to life in prison, but withholds it. He is ashamed to reveal his affair with this woman. By making this decision, he shifts the film's focus from the subject of German guilt about the Holocaust and turns it on the human race in general. The film intends his decision as the key to its meaning, but most viewers may conclude that "The Reader" is only about the Nazis' crimes and the response to them by post-war German generations...The film centers on a sexual relationship between Hanna (Kate Winslet), a woman in her mid-30s, and Michael (David Kross), a boy of 15. That such things are wrong is beside the point; they happen, and the story is about how it connected with her earlier life and his later one. It is powerfully, if sometimes confusingly, told in a flashback framework and powerfully acted by Winslet and Kross, with Ralph Fiennes coldly enigmatic as the elder Michael...Many of the critics of "The Reader" seem to believe it is all about Hanna's shameful secret. No, not her past as a Nazi guard. The earlier secret that she essentially became a guard to conceal. Others think the movie is an excuse for soft-core porn disguised as a sermon. Still others say it asks us to pity Hanna. Some complain we don't need yet another "Holocaust movie." None of them think the movie may have anything to say about them. I believe the movie may be demonstrating a fact of human nature: Most people, most of the time, all over the world, choose to go along. We vote with the tribe...Philip Roth's great novel The Plot Against America imagines a Nazi takeover here. It is painfully thought-provoking and probably not unfair. "The Reader" suggests that many people are like Michael and Hanna, and possess secrets that we would do shameful things to conceal.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 9
Widescreen, English, Spanish, Subtitled
Product Attributes
Video Format Blu-Ray
Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer ...[Daldry] proves himself the screen's reigning master at showing passion thwarted or repressed.
Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter An engaging period drama.
Marc Mohan, Portland Oregonian An immaculately crafted, splendidly acted drama with a message at its core of forgiveness and humanity.
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor Fiennes brings to the role a shimmering subtlety.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone Winslet's fierce, unerring portrayal goes beyond acting, becoming a provocation that will keep you up nights.

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Great drama, makes you think a little, great cast by Lil Anthnee on Apr 02, 2012