The Reader (2008)

Nothing is simple in this film. The Reader skips across the story of one woman's life at the times when she encounters a much younger man over a span of decades.

Hanna Schmitz is a tragic figure who because of circumstances and her own ignorance becomes the fall girl for postwar Germany. We see her through the eyes of a love struck high school student with whom she strikes up a summer of passion which includes her young lover reading to her. Scorned, she ends the relationship and they encounter years later when she is on trial for war crimes as a guard at a concentration camp.

The story is terribly sad and in many ways it mirrors Germany's history - a lovely nation brought down through ignorance and war guilt after The Great War. Her lover would be all of Europe who was initially seduced, but who later scorns the jewel of central Europe.

The writing, powerful acting, and superb pacing mark this film as one of the best ever made.

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