The Reader 2009 R CC

Amazon Instant Video

(1,095) IMDb 7.6/10
Available in HDAvailable on Prime
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Academy Award winner Kate Winslet (Revolutionary Road) delivers a dynamic performance in this "tale of eroticism, secrecy and guilt" (Claudia Puig, USA Today) set in turbulent post-Nazi Germany. Bringing to life the celebrated international novel, Winslet is riveting as Hanna Schmitz - a lonely, working-class woman who experiences a brief but intense affair with a teenage boy. Years later they meet again: Hanna now a defendant in a notorious case and her ex-lover, now a law student, holding the secret to her salvation. Directed by three-time Academy Award nominee Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours) and featuring Ralph Fiennes (The Duchess) as the grown man still reeling from Hanna's influence, The Reader is a "moving, romantic and poignant story" (Roger Friedman, Fox News) about the difficult distance between truth and reconciliation.

Starring:
Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes
Runtime:
2 hours 4 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

The Reader

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Stephen Daldry
Starring Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes
Supporting actors David Kross, Kate Winslet, Susanne Lothar, Alissa Wilms, Florian Bartholomäi, Friederike Becht, Matthias Habich, Frieder Venus, Marie-Anne Fliegel, Hendrik Arnst, Rainer Sellien, Torsten Michaelis, Moritz Grove, Joachim Tomaschewsky, Barbara Philipp, Hans Hohlbein, Jürgen Tarrach, Kirsten Block
Studio The Weinstein Company
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Very good story and acting is great.
anyuta
Michael is constantly confused and trying to understand, not just the actions of other characters in the film but his own emotions as well.
Jason Bean
A young man of late high school age, Michael, has a love affair with an older woman, Hanna, who was a prison guard during WWII.
Little Me

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

148 of 154 people found the following review helpful By L. Nicolson on January 16, 2009
I have just seen The Reader and find the film fascinating. However, after reading some of the reviews posted below, I concluded that the timeline of events were missed by some viewers and that some were expecting a more tightly woven ending. I will address the former, but the latter is more like real life, composed of loose ends and no clear answers. I will refrain from giving away the plot twists, preferring to allow the viewer to enjoy the unfolding plot.

To clarify, the narrative timeline is important and the questions the story raises are still relevant. The male lead, Michael meets Winslet's character Hannah first in 1958, AFTER the war. Whatever she did in the war is part of her past when they have their affair. He would have been a small child in the war, he is fifteen when they meet, and in his early 20s in law school. Her sudden disappearances and many of her choices are dictated by a personal secret that has dire consequences later, when Michael, now a law student, sees her again in a courtroom.

The viewer must understand that post war Germany felt, and still feels shame over the Holocaust and faced serious challenges when it was over and the nation had to answer for crimes against humanity. It's difficult to say what any of us would do in the same circumstances. We were not there. Would a person be swept along? Would they rationalize? Would they act in fear? In habitual obedience? What role does ignorance play? Can someone who is capable of great kindness, even tenderness, also be capable of evil, of knowing unthinking cruelty? Does one act nullify the other? What is the punishment when a whole nation is held in thrall? It's all easy to answer from a point of safety and security.
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132 of 150 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Littrell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 16, 2009
Format: DVD
[Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon.]

BEWARE OF SPOILERS.

There is a certain segment of the German mentality that is Hanna Schmidt. English Kate Winslet captures the intent of novelist Bernhard Schlink in her interpretation of the character. Hanna was an ordinary but proud woman of discipline who always did her duty, a woman without the ability to separate herself from what she knew was right and what was wrong, but a woman who was able to hide from herself what she did that was wrong.

She seduces fifteen-year-old Michael Berg. She finds him doubly useful as a reader of great literature. She knows it will not work. Of course how could it? She indulges herself but, being strong and proud, is able to divorce herself from him emotionally when the time comes, as it must. When he reads D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover to her, she is genuinely offended at the open sexuality, but we viewers are taken back since what she is doing with 15-year-old Michael Berg is on the screen and naked before our eyes.

In a sense this is the somewhat familiar story of the young man of station and potential had briefly in his youth by the older woman who has neither station nor potential. They take advantage of one another for the time being, both knowing that they will move on. But young Michael is not fully aware of this old story because his station in life is, although above hers, still rather modest, and being fifteen and knowing a woman for the first time, he is in love as much as--or even more than--a fifteen-year-old can be.
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226 of 269 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Ellington VINE VOICE on March 16, 2009
Format: DVD
I am writing this review on Oscar Nomination morning (although due to the fact that I refuse to post a review until the DVD has dropped you will be reading this much later) mostly due to my elation that it has been nominated for not only the marvelous performance by Kate Winslet (in the right category mind you) but also for Best Picture, Best Director and Adapted Screenplay. I've been chomping at the bit to write this review ever since I walked out of the theater a few weeks back, and since then I've seen the film a record three times and I would watch it again right now if I could. I've pondered this film, discussed this film, relived this film and can honestly label it the best film of the year and quite possibly one of the best films I've seen in a long time.

Sure, you can be quick to pinpoint it's supposed faults, and you can try and label it something that it is not, but if you allow your eyes to open and your mind to absorb you may be able to see this for what it really is; a masterpiece.

When sitting down to write this review I asked my friend how I was going to be able to do so without being redundant or irritating. I mean, how many different ways can you say masterpiece before someone says "I get the point, now move on"? I'm going to try and get all that out of the way right now so that my review will be palatable.

`The Reader' is a masterpiece.

Okay, I'm done now.

Having read Bernhard Schlink's beautiful novel I was really anticipating this film. I feel that Kate Winslet is the finest working actress today and this just seemed like such an ideal role for her (Oscar, if you pass her over this year I vow to never watch another telecast).
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