Sunday 11 January 2009

The Reader

To see Stephen Daldry and David Hare's take on the Bernard Schlink novel The Reader last night. The story of a German boy's sexual initiation with an older woman who insists on being read to during their liaisons, and his subsequent shock on discovering that she had been an SS guard responsible for many deaths, is filled with moral ambiguities. The story itself is certainly thought-provoking, given Hanna's secret, though the ending in New York is a bit trite, and this is nevertheless a good adaptation of a fine book. Kate Winslet gives a career-defining performance as Hanna, the ex-SS guard and David Kross is very good as the young Michael. But despite its strengths, the film suffers from being a bit too long and as so often it doesn't quite capture the atmosphere, tension and suspense of the book.

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