Please, No Oscar for 'Manipulative' Reader

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2009 1:03 PM CST

(Newser) The Reader is an “incoherent, exculpatory film” that offers false redemption for "ordinary Germans" involved in the Holocaust through a tired trope and far too much nudity, Ron Rosenbaum writes in Slate. The industry has already erred deeply by nominating the film and Kate Winslet’s performance for Academy Awards. “Please, Hollywood, don't compound the error by giving the Oscar to The Reader.”

“Let’s not allow films like The Reader to misrepresent history by pretending the Germans—even those too young to fight—didn't know what was going on,” Rosenbaum continues. The thorniest problem is “the metaphoric thrust of the Kate Winslet character's ‘illiteracy:’ She's a stand-in for the German people and their supposed inability to ‘read’ the signs that mass murder was being done in their name, by their fellow citizens. To which one can only say: What a crock! Or if Hollywood has its way: Here's your Oscar.”