Book Review.

This is one of the first movies I have seen that is almost identical to the book it was fashioned after.

The Reader is about a 15 year old boy who has an affair with a woman twice his age. After a summer long romance she disappears, leaving the kid wondering what happened, until ten years later he sees her on trial for murder.

I watched the movie before reading the book and was mesmerized by the story of this relationship that developed so quickly and unexpectedly.

The main difference I found between the book and the film was that the book was separated into three different parts for the different periods in Michael’s life, while the movie incorporated Michael’s later life into tell us the story.

During the film I was surprised at how I managed to be surprised at all the little twists and towards Hanna’s secret even up until the reveal. It made watching the film more enjoyable and the book a faster read because I just wanted to find out more.

I did feel more emotional towards the film and felt the chemistry between the characters more raw and intimate than when reading the book. The book almost made the coupling of the characters as a bad thing, while in the movie I almost forgot Michael’s age.

I was also conflicted by how you can’t love and hate a character all at the same time. As a viewer I wanted Hanna to be a lovable person, to pity her and feel for her, but during the trial you almost aren’t sure whether or not she can be a likable character. Even after her secret is fully revealed, as a viewer/reader it’s hard to come to terms with the real feelings you have for Hanna.

Kate Winslet did an amazing job and deserved every award and recognition for the character. It’s almost suprising that all but her Oscar nomination were for Supporting Actress as Hanna is such an important and leading role in the film and to the story.

Awards Wins and Nominations:

2009 Academy Awards (winners announced Feb 22)

  • Best Achievement in Cinematography
  • Best Achievement in Directing
  • Best Motion Picture of the Year
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role – Kate Winslet
  • Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

2009 BAFTA Awards (winners announced Feb 8)

  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Director
  • Best Film
  • Best Leading Actress – Kate Winslet
  • Best Screenplay – Adapted

2009 Critics Choice Awards

  • Best Supporting Actress – Kate Winslet
  • Best Picture
  • Best Young Actor/Actress Under 21 – David Kross

2008 Chicago Film Critics Association

  • Best Supporting Actress – Kate Winslet
  • Most Promising Performer – David Kross

2009 Golden Globes

  • Best Performance by Supporting Actress – Kate Winslet
  • Best Director
  • Best Motion Picture
  • Best Screenplay

2009 Screen Actors Guild

  • Outstanding Perfomance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role – Kate Winslet

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