The Reader

What a beautiful movie. Yet another sad one where SPOILER ALERT Kate Winslet’s character dies at the end, but after seeing the horribly depressing RR prior to this, The Reader was a welcome beacon of light, even though it was about a clandestine affair and killing Jews.

Kate should have won an Oscar or two a long time ago for pretty much every other movie she’s been in, but she definitely deserved this one too. It was amazing how she and David Kross—who are 15 years apart—had such believable, innocent chemistry. I’d like to think that Winslet took his virginity, or at least most of it, because his face was so pure and sweet throughout the whole thing, like he matured because of her but he also stayed young to keep her young. And he really does look like the younger version of Rafe (yes, Ralph, whatever) Fiennes. Like, seriously wow. They are the same person.

The sex scenes between the two of them were not gratuitous, either, which is something I’ve recently started thinking about after watching an interview with Anne Hathaway about her new movie, Love and Other Drugs, which involves a lot of her and Jakey G naked. I honestly had never thought about gratuitous sex scenes, probably because like most people I was too busy enjoying whatever was presented in front of me on the screen. But in the case of The Reader, and what I hope is the case in the other flick, each sex scene represented a new stage in their relationship. Discovery, lust, intimacy, frustration, whatever. It meant something to the narrative, and not a lot of movies can say that.

Of course, the twist that she couldn’t read or write was kind of like the twist in The Sixth Sense. It can only be done once, and then it’s over. But I think it was done beautifully. Aside from the fact that Kate is far too hot to be an illiterate ticket-taker and Jew killer, this movie was beautiful, tragic, and staggeringly well-acted. Stars and hearts all around.