On this fine Sunday, I had the pleasure of seeing one Kathleen Shea Blogger. In fact, it was the first time we’ve been together since we began this here blog. We had brunch with our friends, chatted, had a naked pillow fight, etc. We also went to see The Reader with our friend Norah.
The Reader is the third movie I’ve seen in the past few weeks that I wasn’t originally intending to see. I saw Slumdog Millionaire because I missed Four Christmases, Seven Pounds because The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was sold out, and now The Reader because Milk was sold out. Someone’s really screwing with my movie schedule, but luckily I’ve loved each of these three movies.
I had some vague ideas of what The Reader was about, and I’d heard that it got good reviews. I’m no film buff, but I quite liked it, and I thought Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, and newcomer David Kross were all phenomenal. It’s a twisted, sad movie, but I thought it was original and thought-provoking.
The questions of justice that the film brings up were most interesting for me. Modern law requires an assignment of guilt or innocence with no real middle ground, and this movie illustrates just how complex and contrived that requirement can be. My inability to come to terms with the whole black-and-white aspect of law is part of the reason I decided not to go to law school. I’m bad at making decisions to begin with, and even if assigned a side, I think I’d struggle to be 100% on that side. (There are exceptions, of course, and I’m oversimplifying our legal system, but you get what I mean. I hope.)
On a lighter, creepier note, I finally understood exactly what my cougar friend means when she looks at a younger guy and says she wants to give him a bath. Not that I don’t still find that statement totally creepy (you heard me, Cougar Friend), but I got a little embarrassed when I formed a huge crush on David Kross, the young Michael in this movie, and then discovered that he is only 18. Here’s the only picture I found of him where he looked as if he’d hit puberty (he’s on the left, clearly):
Yeah he still looks young. I feel dirty. But whatever, suburban moms totally have crushes on the Jonas brothers, right?
And let’s just pause and remember how fabulous Kate Winslet is, even when she’s just hanging around with her kid:
I’ve had a few strangers tell me I look like Kate Winslet, and I every time I see a picture of her or watch one of her movies I try and I try to force myself to see the likeness, and I simply don’t see it. The face is a stretch, and our bodies…well, let’s just say I don’t see it.
Here’s a preview for The Reader:
If you see it, let us know what you think!
[Posted by Mallory]
2 responses to “behind the mystery lies a truth…”
Looking to capitalize on my brief cameo on the SWTCTW blog, I thought I’d weigh in with my reaction to The Reader. Unfortunately, I found this film overly emotional. Mallory, “twisted and sad” is dead on! Yes, the overarching themes of personal isolation and loneliness coupled with Munich’s industrial and rainy setting seem to be enough to justify a depressing movie. Oh! There’s also the shadow of the Holocaust, remembered not only in scenes in court or at Auschwitz, but also with the numerous train scenes. Still, and this may sound heartless, the film’s mood came off as overbearing. It made the audience balance too much. The time range was over 40 years, so obviously, characters were evolving. However, even as events unfolded, the main characters’ outlooks seemed unchanged. Michael even admits to never opening up to anyone, presumably before or after his entangled affair with Hannah. Jumping around in time, the movie left the audience with fragments of each character and his/her relationships with others. These snapshots were enough to stand on their own but put together did not make a full narrative. While isolation and a want for redemption were present at each moment of the film, these moments never truly added up to make the overwhelming depression completely comprehensible from any character’s perspective. Their emptiness seemed to be disconnected from any of the events in the lives of either Michael and Hannah. Instead, their depression came off as a fact not an effect. To put all these separate time periods and underlying emotional states together, the audience was expected to make assumptions that I was not prepared to make.
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