I Rewatched “The Reader” After Years And It’s Still Good

My mind didn’t remember the details of this movie well. Netflix had it. You know what happened.

Often, you’ll watch films and wonder why you once liked them. Gone With the Wind feels ridiculous as Best Picture in the shape it is in. Titanic doesn’t seem like the big movie, today as I sit here writing, it was in 1997. Something about it screams “made in the 90’s as a recreation of an earlier time!” much like Gone With the Wind represents its decade. Not to throw shade at James Cameron. The guy takes big chances in his filmmaking. Hardly anyone can successfully direct a movie that doesn’t come off like it’s of a specific era. Every great filmmaker has this problem.

The Reader is a timeless movie.  Ignoring the part about how Germans speak English to each other like it’s German. Hollywood hasn’t caught the Post-It yet about that. Make the movie in German. Kate Winslet can do it!

Our lead guy Ralph Finnes Is great as expected here. Kate Winslet fanboys probably know she spends a large amount of the beginning topless. You think when you first view this, this is like The Piano, subbing books for the piano. People have sex out of instant attraction. A lot. Involving learning. Nobody knows. Oooooh!

As the first portion wraps up, you thank yourself this isn’t The Piano with books. Kate’s sexy cougar gal is on trial for Nazi war crimes(!!!!!). Ralph’s Michael character is now in law school watching from a distance. I don’t want to tell you what happens because the rest of the movie once it catches up here is really, really good. You get a look through the eyes of those committing war crimes and those harmed by them, AND—

The movie becomes really a lot like The Age of Innocence minus a few details. Michael, the guy whose life we are watching, is inspired by this woman so much in the time they cared for each other. He plays a role identical to Daniel Day-Lewis’ role in the Martin Scorsese movie. Michael can’t express his emotions well. His inability to display his love for Hanna, aka. our girl Winslet, eats him alive. 

A family member told me today, “I don’t like that kind of movie.” Meaning, lead guys are supposed to be heroic at all times. I beg to differ. Lead guys who display flaws reflect reality and the reality of young gentlemen I’ve met who are very much weirdo wimps. They can’t reflect how they feel about you. Catching a glimpse of you is enough to make his week. He won’t tell you how he really feels. As a female of any sexual orientation growing up in this time period, you meet a lot of guys like that. To suggest otherwise, that a film needs Michael’s life about him taking control of things all the time, would erase all the lessons we can learn and the realism this movie has. Maybe you’re that guy who gets stepped on?

The ending isn’t really clear. To me, it’s a statement of how he lives. Michael will always be the same guy at every age. The second lesson could be love itself: love doesn’t know age restrictions. Love is sharing knowledge.  Love means never...LOL, shut up, did you really think I was gonna never saying sorry? Do you not know me?

The love these two share is brief in one summer together, yet it shapes Michael’s whole life. We could think of this like, yeah, those teens you say don’t know better because they’re young might really know what they want.

The acting is flawless here. Go see it while it’s on Netflix.