Friday, February 20, 2009

The Reader

This is a Best Picture nominee, which also includes my favorite actress - Kate Winslet. I read the book many years ago, so I knew the plot and I was curious to see how the film would work in Ralph Fiennes. My recall of his character in the book was that it was somewhat small, yet in the movie, he is much more prominent than Kate. In fact, Fiennes character as a young boy has more screen time than she does. I've read that many in the film industry feel as if this was more of a supporting role for Winslet and she should have been nominated for Best Actress for "Revolutionary Road" (which C and I will be seeing this weekend). The movie itself is a tad slow and while the performances were all good, I came away feeling that the movie itself wasn't. That being said, Winslet was very good in this. She really shows her skill because she doesn't have all that many lines of dialogue - she does most of her acting with looks, with expressions, with body language. You read all the time about how many women have negative feelings about their bodies - you can tell from her words and roles that she doesn't. It's obvious that she is very much in tune with her body, so she has the freedom to use it (use all of it) to express inner emotions and feelings through it. She really is at the top of her game right now, which for her is saying something.

An interesting side-note to this film is that the movie couldn't start production until the young man that is Winslet's love interest turned 18, due to the sex scenes and frontal nudity (for both of them). I think this is the year that Kate finally wins a Oscar - one that she should have won years ago. I just hope she doesn't blubber and studder during her speech pretending to be shocked and not have prepared anything. Please....she has been picking up awards for the last couple of months, so she has to have an idea that she MIGHT win.


Stephanie said...

My favorite thing about the book was the topic of how German kids had moral authority over their parents, who were adults during the Holocaust. Can't remember if the book spent alot of ink on it, but it was a huge part of our book club discussion so I remember that topic being a big deal. Movie touches on this in one of the classroom scenes, but it's just sort of left there.

Stephanie said...

And I concur that Winslet was outstanding with this very difficult (dialogue-sparse) part.