DVD: The Reader (15)

Gillian Orr
Tuesday 10 December 2013 03:53

With Billy Elliot director, Daldry, at the helm, playwright David Hare penning the screenplay and Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes in the leading roles, The Reader should surely be a classic.

Winslet is Hanna Schmitz, a trolleycar conductor in West Germany, 1955, who begins an affair with a schoolboy, Michael. She makes him read to her before she will go to bed with him. After an abrupt end to their relationship, Michael next sees Hanna eight years later, when he is attending the trials of SS guards, and finds Hanna in the dock. The discoveries and absurd sacrifices that play out seem contrived. There's a great performance from Winslet, but it's hardly a credible contribution to the Holocaust canon.

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