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The Reader (2008)

Drama, Romance |

The Reader is a romantic drama film directed by Stephen Daldry and written by David Hare, based on the 1995 German novel of the same name by Bernhard Schlink. It stars Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, and David Kross. It was the last film for producers Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack, both of whom died prior to its release. Production began in Germany in September 2007, and the film opened in limited release on December 10, 2008.

The film tells the story of Michael Berg, a German lawyer who, as a 15-year-old in 1958, has an affair with an older woman, Hanna Schmitz. She disappears only to resurface years later as one of the defendants in a war crimes trial stemming from her actions as a guard at a Nazi concentration camp.

In 1995 Berlin, after a woman he has spent the night with leaves his apartment abruptly after he has made her breakfast, Michael Berg watches a U-Bahn pass by, setting up a flashback to a tram in 1958. In the flashback, as a 15-year-old boy, Michael (David Kross) feels sick while wandering the streets. Pausing nearby an apartment building he vomits. Hanna Schmitz (Kate Winslet), a tram conductor returning home, cleans him up and helps him return home. Michael, diagnosed with scarlet fever, recuperates at home for three months, and once recovered, he visits Hanna with flowers to thank her.

The 36-year-old Hanna seduces him, and they begin an affair. They spend much of their time together having sex in her apartment after she has had Michael read to her from literary works he is studying. After a bicycling trip with Michael, Hanna learns that she was promoted to a clerical job at the tram company’s office, upon which she suddenly leaves her home, without telling Michael or anyone else where she has moved to.

Director: Stephen Daldry

Writers: David Hare (screenplay), Bernhard Schlink (book)

Stars: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, Bruno Ganz, David Kross, Susanne Lothar, Lena Olin, Matthias Habich


Ralph FiennesMichael Berg
Jeanette HainBrigitte
David KrossYoung Michael Berg
Kate WinsletHanna Schmitz
Susanne LotharCarla Berg
Alissa WilmsEmily Berg
Florian BartholomรคiThomas Berg
Friederike BechtAngela Berg
Matthias HabichPeter Berg
Frieder VenusDoctor
Marie-Anne FliegelHanna’s Neighbour
Hendrik ArnstWoodyard Worker
Rainer SellienTeacher
Torsten MichaelisSports Master
Moritz GroveHolger
Joachim TomaschewskyStamp Dealer
Barbara PhilippWaitress
Hans HohlbeinClerk
Jรผrgen TarrachGerhard Bade (as Juergen Tarrach)
Kirsten BlockFemale Judge
Vijessna FerkicSophie (as Vijnessa Ferkic)
Vanessa BertholdSophie’s Friend
Benjamin TrinksHolger’s Friend
Fritz RothTram Supervisor
Hannah HerzsprungJulia
Jacqueline MacaulayHeidelberg Lecturer
Volker BruchDieter
Bruno GanzProfessor Rohl
Karoline HerfurthMarthe
Max MauffRudolf
Ludwig BlochbergerSeminar Group Student
Jonas JรคgermeyrSeminar Group Student
Alexander KasprikSeminar Group Student
Burghart KlauรŸnerJudge (as Burghart Klaussner)
Sylvester GrothProsecuting Council
Fabian BuschHanna’s Defence Council
Margarita BroichCo-Defendant
Marie GruberCo-Defendant
Lena LessingCo-Defendant
Merelina KendallCo-Defendant
Hildegard SchroedterCo-Defendant
Lena OlinRose Mather / Ilana Mather
Alexandra Maria LaraYoung Ilana Mather
Martin BrambachRemand Prison Guard #1
Michael SchenkRemand Prison Guard #2
Ava Eusepi-HarrisYoung Julia
Nadja EngelMail Room Guard #1
Anne-Kathrin GummichMail Room Guard #2
Carmen-Maja AntoniPrison Librarian
Petra HartungHead Prison Guard
Linda BassettMs. Brenner
Beata LehmannMs. Brenner’s Secretary
Heike Hanold-LynchPrison Guard
Bettina ScheuritzelGate Guard
Robin GoochIlana’s Maid (as Robin Lyn Gooch)
Thomas BorchardtCriminal Defense Lawyer
Alexandru HercaReporter
Hendrik MaaรŸMichael’s Court House Assistant
Klemen NovakAdditional Voices (voice)
Rich OdellTaxi Driver
Daniele RizzoStudent
Sam Luca ScollinReporter
Stephan ZillerStudent in Court

Sources: imdb & wikipedia

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