The Reader | Chicago Reader

The Reader

Rated R 123 minutes 2008

A German teenager (David Kross) enjoys a steamy affair with a woman in her 30s (Kate Winslet) and discovers years later that during World War II she served as an SS guard at Auschwitz. Adapted from the novel by Bernhard Schlink, this Holocaust drama never rises above the norm in exploring the evil of the camps. But surrounding this central morality play is a more modestly scaled and emotionally persuasive story about a young man in love with a much older woman. Their bond endures into the late 80s, when he's middle-aged (and played by Ralph Fiennes) and she's elderly; by that time, their relationship has undergone a painful role reversal, and the controlling, self-assured woman is the one who needs looking after. Stephen Daldry (The Hours) directed; with Bruno Ganz and Lena Olin, devastating as a concentration camp survivor who counsels an anguished Fiennes.

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Stephen Daldry

Writer: Bernhard Schlink and David Hare

Producer: Anthony Minghella, Sydney Pollack and Scott Rudin

Cast: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, Bruno Ganz, Karoline Herfurth, Linda Bassett, Hannah Herzsprung, Susanne Lothar, David Kross, Volker Bruch and Matthias Habich

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