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.