The Reader (2008)

‘The Reader’ (2008) directed by Stephen Daldry, produced by Anthony Mingella and Sydney Pollack, screenwriting by David Hare, based on a book by Bernhard Schlink. I’m telling you all these boring facts so that you know that this screams out QUALITY film even before the first scene. The most important fact, of course, is the eponymous reader Ralph Fiennes, looks like a German. He’s always looked like a German, even when he’s not knocking about being Ralph Fiennes he looks like a German. David Kross acts as a young Ralph Fieness who also looks like a German. I was surprised to see Kate Winslett looking like a German, but not surprised to see her bush naked. Well maybe not bush naked, but as naked as a German woman can be without being naked. She won an Oscar for being naked and it was a great performance. It had to be. Few women could make an audience feel sorry for their portrayal of a Nazi concentration guard in Auschwitz. Auschwitz is that well known that the spell checker does not even signal it as a mistake. So how did a paedophile Nazi guard make us feel sorry for her? The answer my friend is blowing in the wind. She did it - despite the brutality and deaths- by maintaining a sense of innocence and knowledge that was captured perfectly by her refusal to tell her prosecutors that she could not have written a report because she could not read. Naked pride. Wonderful.

Less wonderful my hurried entry for Red Planet screenwriting competition. I spotted two glaring spelling mistakes in my synopsis. Paul Kahneman suggests that we tell ourselves lies to make ourselves feel better. So those mistakes that mean my file won’t even be opened doesn’t really matter. Honest. It doesn’t.