Friday, March 06, 2009

Not That Secret, The Other Secret

Saturday afternoon I saw the film ‘The Reader’ with JP. It's about a teenage boy in Germany in 1958 who has an affair with an older, working class woman and likes to read to her. Then she disappears from his life. Years later, in law school, he is shocked to see she’s on trail for being a guard in a Nazi concentration camp and being responsible indirectly for the deaths of dozens of women. There are many surprise twists, and the movie asks some difficult questions without easy answers. Kate Winslet, who plays the older woman, won Best Actress Oscar this year for her work here. It's a movie well-worth seeing. The film got a few bad reviews for 'diluting' the Holocaust and making you empathize with a prison guard, but the film actually just shows shades of gray, and the utter banality of evil; It's oblique, and its primary focus is not the Holocaust - which, fortunately, has been well-explored many times on film and no doubt will be eternally compelling material. Actually, Lena Olin, playing a Holocaust survivor, delivers a wonderfully eviscerating speech toward the end about her experience... Just see it! The teenager is major eye candy, as is Winslet for the other 'team'- their scenes are so sensual that one reviewer said 'I already feel I know their bodies better than my husband's!'   By the way, I just learned that the boy, David Kross, is a German teenage actor who had to learn English for this role!   His first film, translated, was called 'Help! I'm a Boy!'

Watch the trailer!

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