Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Reader (Not to Be Confused with the Writer and Arithmeticker)

Watching The Reader. Meh.

Maybe it's just me, but I find it difficult to empathize with the emotional turmoils of a fifteen year old kid sneaking around to hide is torrid love affair with a woman twice his age. Because at 33 minutes in, that's what this movie is about. Right now we're discovering that this woman is illiterate, and soon we'll discover that she's a Nazi, but that's all afterthought. That's the Oscar fodder. For now, it's weird May-to-December romance.

At 45 minutes in, I've figured out that this is going to turn out to be one of those films that's good, but that's not very enjoyable.

Some observations:

Nothing makes breasts look quite so unflattering as a wet, semi-transparent brassier.

They keep cutting to Ralph Fiennes looking confused. If the flashback nature of this movie hadn't been set up properly, or if someone had strolled into the theater a few minutes late, it be extremely disorienting. Like watching a David Lynch film.

The phrase "All photographers are now asked to leave" being barked in a German accent is, perhaps, the quintessence of passive-aggressiveness.

The vast majority of the emotional content of this film seems to be people looking distraught.

At an hour and 12 minutes, Michael finds out that Hanna can't read, something we've known for almost an hour (if we hadn't inferred it already from the title). She admits to murdering 300 people to hide this fact. Buh... Theme of the film: genocide is bad, but illiteracy is worse, it seems.

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1 comment:

Abby (aka AgatheAthena) said...

A historical-fiction drama that was an Oscar contender and involves lots of flashbacks and Ralph Fiennes. Are you sure you weren't watching The English Patient? (Ha, made a stuffy movie joke there.)