(USA/Germany, 2008, 123 minutes)
In 1958 Germany, a teenager has a torrid love affair with an older tram conductor who likes him to read aloud for her then leaves without a trace after one Summer; later, as a law school student, he finds her on trial for having been a concentration camp guard. Thoughtful, exquisitely handled meditation on guilt, history and shame that is sometimes a bit too tasteful for its own good but retains a subtle, mesmerising power.
The Weinstein Company presents a Mirage Enterprises/Neunte Babelsberg Film production; funded by Filmforderungsanstalt, Deutsches Fernsehfilmfonds, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, MDM, Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen. Starring Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, David Kross, Lena Olin, Bruno Ganz. Directed by Stephen Daldry; produced by Anthony Minghella, Sydney Pollack, Donna Gigliotti, Redmond Morris; screenplay by David Hare, based on the novel by Bernhard Schlink, The Reader; music by Nico Muhly; director of photography (Technicolor), Chris Menges, Roger Deakins; production designer, Brigitte Broch; costume designers, Ann Roth, Donna Maloney; film editor, Claire Simpson.