film

The Reader | 2008 | Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes,

Kate Winslet won a lead actress Academy Award for her role in Stephen Daldry’s multi Oscar-nominated drama, an adaptation of German author Bernhard Schlink’s best-selling novel Der Vorleser (The Reader), which reflects upon the difficulties faced by Germans growing up in the shadow of the horrors of the Second World War.

In 1958, in a town on the Rhine, a tram conductor called Hanna (Winslet) happens upon a boy, Michael (David Kross), who’s been violently sick and has a fever. She takes him to her place, cleans him up and makes sure he gets home safely. After his recuperation, Michael returns to give Hanna flowers in gratitude for helping him, whereupon she seduces him and the two embark on a passionate affair – characterised by her insistence that he read aloud to her between bouts of lovemaking.

Their fling ends when she suddenly disappears from his life. However, their paths are fated to cross again: in the mid-60s, Michael, now a law student, dramatically discovers not only that his former lover has a dark past, but also that he has the opportunity to repay her act of kindness to him.

All this is told in flashback from the remove of 1995, as Michael (now played by Ralph Fiennes) continues to struggle with the emotions he feels for the older woman and her part in the Holocaust.

cast
Kate Winslet as Hanna Schmitz
Ralph Fiennes as Michael Berg
David Kross as Young Michael Berg
Lena Olin as Rose Mather
Bruno Ganz as Professor Rohl
Jeanette Hain as Brigitte
Hannah Herzsprung as Julia
Karoline Herfurth as Marthe
Volker Bruch as Dieter Spenz
Alexandra Maria Lara as Young Ilana Mather
Fabian Busch as Verteidiger
Vijessna Ferkic as Sophie
Susanne Lothar as Carla Berg
Matthias Habich as Peter Berg
Burghart Klaußner as Richter
Sylvester Groth as Staatsanwalt
Jürgen Tarrach as Gerhard Bade
Florian Bartholomäi as Thomas Berg
Moritz Grove as Holger
Kirsten Block as Richterin
Margarita Broich as Verteidigerin
Marie Gruber as Verteidigerin
Martin Brambach as Gefängniswärter
Carmen-Maja Antoni as Gefangene
Heike Hanold-Lynch as Gefängniswärterin
Linda Bassett as Ms. Brenner
Ludwig Blochberger as Student
Benjamin Trinks as Holger´s friend

crew
Director: Stephen Daldry
Script: David Hare
Novel: Bernhard Schlink

Germany – USA | 124 minutes | 2008

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