Monday, February 09, 2009

Thoughts on The Reader

- Is Michael's age really relevant? He's above the age of consent, and the scarring aspects of his relationship with Hanna---the parts that screw him up for life---would have had similar effects on an older boy.

- Hanna refuses to reveal that she cannot read, even though this evidence would mitigate her responsibility for the deaths of prisoners under her charge (the author of the report rationalizing the deaths was deemed more culpable than the other guards). Michael chooses not to betray her secret, perhaps because he is reluctant to be seen as "helping" Hanna. But isn't he also allowing the true author of the report to walk away with a light sentence?

- As Ralph Fiennes ages, he is starting to look a lot like Liam Neeson. And not in a good way.

Did anyone else see The Reader? I usually skip Holocaust movies because they have a physiological effect on me: all my limbs become heavy and paralyzed. Kate Winslet was very good, but I think that can be easier when one is playing an unintelligent character. Part of the challenge of acting is capturing both the emotions and thoughts running behind the character's eyes. Fewer, more simple thoughts, while sometimes limpid and pure in a way that a rush of constant processing cannot be, may be less work to portray.

A very small part of me wanted to see Winslet's other star turn in Revolutionary Road, but a fellow lawyer responded: "I don't need to see that, it's my life!"
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