Monday, April 27, 2009

The Reader (2008)

Directed by Stephen Daldry. I suppose a movie that generates as much impassioned response as this one accomplished something, though it is possible that that something might be simply telling a Holocaust tale, which always seems to bring out something so I'm not sure that's such big news. Still, I was moved, I'll say that. But by the end of this movie, I didn't really like anybody in it. Though I'm not sure if I was supposed to.

Not on principle but as a function of consequence, I don't pay attention to much and so I have to admit that I didn't really know what this story was going to be about. I knew it was a period piece that took place around WWII and Nazi Germany, but I didn't know the specifics. So I was as surprised as Michael Berg when the whole damn second act unfolded. I'm glad too, because movies like this generally don't offer a lot in the way of "fun," and as bleak as this story is, my ignorance wasn't going to change any of that, so at least I got to have the fun of being surprised. So in that spirit, I'll skip the spoilers here.

Now. Just to explain my hating on everybody. I sympathize with everything Michael Berg went through in his life, but there does come a point in life when everyone needs to let go. Stop injecting yourself into things. Chalk it up to experience and move on. As for this Hanna Schmitz, finally learning to read is a little bit like when the 400 pound guy tries to improve his looks by getting an earring.

OK, put that one on the stack of other Holocaust movies that are Important To See and I never want to see again.

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