The Reader: Sex, lies and showercurtains

Posted by Bel. The time is 9:03pm here in Wellington, NZ.

Lou has already reviewed this over at reduced to banality and she may cross-post here. But I thought, as a connoisseur of WWII films thanks to my freakishly obsessed husband, I would rehash it too.

"The eggs are green? WTF?!"

I enjoyed director Stephen Daldry's film The Hours and I thought The Reader had a similar feel and colour palette - soft and unassuming, yet with strong emotional peaks. However both films left me unaffected in the long run, which is hugely disappointing, particularly when The Reader is dealing with such interesting subject matter.

I, of course, thought Ms Winslet was fab in this, mostly because she throws the viewer into such uncertain territory. Why do I feel sorry for a person who has committed such fucking despicable crimes, even as she stands in a courtroom, blabbering them out?! For the same reasons, I don't like her chances of finally nabbing that long-awaiting Oscar.

Daldry has copped a bit of flak for allowing an adapted tale of WWII to also be about sex and romance - with a Nazi - and for his lead female character (the aforementioned Nazi) to be portrayed in a 'sympathetic light'. I think we have grown past an age where we need to have the baddies wearing black cowboy hats and the goodies in white. If anything, it is more important now than ever, than we examine how such evil come to power and how normal everyday members of our societies were caught up amongst it.

2 thoughts on “The Reader: Sex, lies and showercurtains”

  1. And part of the motivation in giving it flack for being "sexual" is because Kate Winslet is beautiful/ sexy/ alluring/ glamerous... um, wtf? Would it be okay if she was ugly? The Wicked Witch has a wart on her nose, green skin and black hair but the Good Witch has a perfect complexion, blonde hair and blue eyes? (That just made me realise how ironic that criticism is in relation to the policies of Nazi Germany.) As usual, it speaks more about the accusor's own values than anything else.