The Reader

In “The Reader,” Kate Winslet is a woman with a dark secret. Two of them, actually.

Set in Germany in a period spanning the late ’50s to the early ’90s, the first 30-40 minutes involved a lot of the delectable Ms. Winslet getting naked with a much younger man. I was thinking that perhaps the title should have been “Die Sommerzeit das 57.” But all of a sudden the movie takes a seriously dark turn, and the remainder is a tour through a sea of ambiguity.

We talked through some of the issues at length afterward — and I suppose any movie that makes you think that hard is worthwhile — but I am still at a loss as to what to think about her character and what she had done. There was something about the conclusion, however, was quite a bit short of satisfying. It felt like a cheap way out.

It’s up for a slew of Oscars, though I’d be amazed if it were anyone’s idea of a “best picture.” It was very good, and well made and all, but in the end not quite there.

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