Sunday, February 1, 2009

Nominated Movies - The Reader

In our quest to see all five of the movies nominated for an Academy Award, we went to see The Reader this weekend. I didn't know much about it before we went, except that it was considered a Holocaust movie. There is a connection, of course, but I was grateful to not have to sit through a reenactment of the horrors of the camps. When we left the theater, we were quiet at first, thinking, processing, coming to terms with our responses to the movie. Then we began to talk, to discuss it, and the talk continued the next morning. Tom doesn't usually get into such analysis, so it was unusual. As an English major of some years ago, I was in my element. On one of my last weeks postings, Sherry commented and summed up The Reader as "haunting", it changes your thinking, or "perspective alters perception". I would say that is right on, and add that character is impacted by circumstances, and making judgements is not always a matter of all right vs all wrong. Where I'm going with this is that this is one complex movie. After seeing Benjamin Button, we regarded it as an entertaining story with little clear message. Slumdog Millionaire had more impact, especially concerning the plight of children living in abject poverty in India. But in a way, both were fairy tales. Not so with The Reader. This is no fairy tale wrapped up in a happy ending. And in thinking about it, discussing it, you realize things about your own character. This is good literature on the big screen.


  1. I read the book, but have not seen the movie yet. Looking forward to renting the DVD later. As you said, the book, too, is haunting and riventing.

  2. Linda, I see we have a few things in common. I am smiling as I say this because over the course of time I have related very much to you and your life style, ways of thinking, interests, etc.

    The movie engaged me in so much the same way as you; the quiet, the talk, the next day, and it has carried on with time. The movie is not a fairy tale, as you say. It sticks to your ribs because we relate to the truth of the challenges of life, which isn't prescribed.

    I guess we also have a major in common, that has exposed us both to literature and comparison. (I regret not having been able to finish film criticism in college). I naturally gravitate to what some refer to as esoteric movies.

    With you, I find a partner in my esoteric crime. :)

    I love your review.
    PS. Still have not been to see BB, hope to get to a movie this week.

  3. You've certainly convinced me that it will be well worth the price of a ticket. I am always most impressed with a movie that leaves me silent and lingers with me.

    The process or working through emotions about the events and life stories in a film seems to stretch my capacity for caring.

    Excellent review.

  4. Even weeks later, I find myself contemplating the effect that literacy has on our thought processes, the decisions we make, the opinions we form, and our ability to problem solve. This movie also reinforced my belief that guilt, atonement, and forgiveness can be manifested in many forms and over a long stretch of time. There is so little in life that is black or white.

    This was not an easy movie by any means.

  5. I am impressed at the quality of your responses Thank you.
    Yes Carole, the role of literacy. I hadn't even explored that in my thinking, going more for motivation, of why, in a modern, literate nation, Hannah did not find a way to learn to read and write instead of keeping it hidden at so high a cost.
    So much to ponder.

  6. Linda, I am blogging again at
    'Ramblings of a Liberal'

    I thought I could give up blogging but I couldn't. I did need to free myself of some Texas family readers. They inhibited my thinking. I'll be more careful this time about inviting relatives to read my blog.

  7. Thank you for the information Linda. I never go the movies, but wait for the DVD to see at home. So I am months behind everyone else..LOL

  8. I haven't seen this yet. I must get out more often.


I would love to read your comments. Since I link most posts to Facebook, you may comment there if you do not have an account. I have eliminated Anonymous comments due to spammers.