Thursday, January 22, 2009

Movie Watch: The Reader

After scoring a surprise Oscar nomination this morning for Best Picture, is The Reader just another Holocaust movie or is it something more?

The "Holocaust Movie" The Reader was unexpectedly nominated for Best Picture at this morning's Oscar nominations. Luckily, I just so happened to see the film this past weekend, and have a few thoughts to share.

More or less, Holocaust movies tend to get a bad rap as dark, depressing and all the same. With the national mood at such a low point, the wisdom of releasing yet another re-hash of one of the world's darkest hours could certainly be suspect.

However, the Reader presents a new side of the puzzle, with different questions abounding. Kate Winslet plays a mysterious yet likeable figure with some dark secrets regarding her Holocaust past. Without giving too much away, suffice to say that the movie presents moralistic questions and dilemmas in a way I have not seen before.

Make no mistake, the movie is dark and you will leave the theater more than a little uncomfortable. However where the Reader succeeds is that this unease is due to the questions left unanswered rather than to the handling of the sensitive subject matter.

So by all means, check it out for yourself, but don't say I didn't warn you to come prepared for what you are asked to debate within yourself.

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