Watch Kate Winslet's Oscar worthy performance in The Reader, which will be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas (Glorietta 4 & Greenbelt 3) starting February 25.
Also starring Ralph Fiennes and David Kross, The Reader is the story of a boy growing up in post-war Germany whose early stirrings of love involve a mysterious older woman hiding a shameful past and a deeply personal secret.
Nominated for five Oscar awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay, The Reader took home the Best Actress trophy for Kate Winslet.
The Reader opens in post-WWII Germany when teenager Michael Berg (Kross) becomes ill and is helped home by Hanna (Winslet), a stranger twice his age. Michael recovers from scarlet fever and seeks out Hanna to thank her. The two are quickly drawn into a passionate but secretive affair.
Michael discovers that Hanna loves being read to and their physical relationship deepens. Hanna is enthralled as Michael reads to her from The Odyssey, Huck Finn, and The Lady with the Little Dog. Despite their intense bond, Hanna mysteriously disappears one day and Michael is left confused and heartbroken.
Eight years later, while Michael is a law student observing the Nazi war crime trials, he is stunned to find Hanna back in his life—this time as a defendant in the courtroom. As Hanna's past is revealed, Michael uncovers a deep secret that will impact both of their lives.
The compelling story of The Reader in many ways touches on the deeply transformative power of words and literacy. So it seems fitting that the film originated with a lyrically simple, yet emotionally jarring, book—"a formally beautiful, disturbing and, finally, morally devastating novel," according to the Los Angeles Times.
Written by Berlin law professor and mystery novelist Bernhard Schlink, the semi-autobiographical work was published in 1995, later translated into 40 other languages, and became the first German novel to top the New York Times' bestseller list, garnering widespread attention in 1999 after Oprah Winfrey chose the title for her popular book club. "Who would have guessed that a book only 218 pages long could stir up so many emotions?" asked Winfrey, who noted that more men read the novel than any of her other book club selections before it was discussed on her program.
Diverging from Schlink's novel, which unfolds chronologically in three distinct segments, the screenplay version of The Reader by screenwriter David Hare jumps through time with a structure that transports the viewer into the main character's life at several different junctures from the 1950s through the 1990s and back again.
"When I go to the cinema, I'm bored stiff by films whose shape and character I can predict from the moment I enter the theater," says Hare. "I'm only interested in things that don't belong to any genre," he says, adding, "This is most certainly not what can be called 'a Holocaust picture.'"