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David Poland

By David Poland

DP/30 – The Reader

Director Stephen Daldry and his young male lead, David Kross sit down to talk about The Reader.
The video after the jump…

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33 Responses to “DP/30 – The Reader”

  1. I made an observation on my blog, and I would like to know what people here think:
    “The same people that are criticising the Academy for nominating The Reader over The Dark Knight and complaining that they snubbed an of-sorts genre movie (in this case a comic book action movie) in favour of yet another WWII Holocaust movie are probably the exact same people that complain – and continue to complain to this very day, ugh – about Saving Private Ryan losing Best Picture to Shakespeare in Love in 1998. You know, the WWII Holocaust movie losing to an of-sorts genre movie (in this case romantic comedy).
    Or is it not allowed when the WWII movie in question is filled with action and violence and is male-oriented and directed by a safe heterosexual man who makes movies for the masses and when the other film in question is a “girly” movie? Oh I think it is. And it still baffles me why nobody is upset at Frost/Nixon for cruising like a cheap hustler into the Oscar race. Did that movie do anything?”
    To add, or is the reason Frost/Nixon got such an easy ride because it’s about men? And, even further, why are people so sure it was The Reader and Daldry that stole The Dark Knight‘s spot? Let’s not forget that Daldry actually has more nominations for Best Director than Ron Howard does.
    I’d be fine with people bagging The Reader (I have not seen it) if they were also complaining about Frost/Nixon too.

  2. AND for that matter, people always complain that the Academy never think for themselves anymore and that it’s boring so, again, shouldn’t Frost/Nixon be getting scorned for being a predictable and safe choice that shoehorned its way into the season, seemingly, by default.
    /grumble for real.

  3. leahnz says:

    …cruising like a cheap hustler into the Oscar race.’
    nice imagery, kam. i haven’t seen ‘the reader’ or ‘frost/nixon’ yet – i’m three for five thus far in the best pic oscar race, so i’m just blowing smoke out my ass here – but if the ‘academy’ does indeed skew as old and fogey as people claim, maybe it’s just a case of good old fashioned nostalgia about the watergate era, which is iconic and seminal in the american psyche

  4. Aah, but if it’s the Academy that are so old and fogey then how come it also cruised so easily through everywhere else. Even the critics. When there were more obscure titles that reviewed better they still went with Frost/Nixon. Why the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs? International people don’t have any nostalgia for that moment in time do they? In fact, wasn’t Nixon hated around the world, but loved in America?
    It’s just that The Reader, while disliked by many, had a very passionate following and yet Frost/Nixon, while well-liked by most never got more than a pleasant applause. So, in my mind, the citation for The Reader is far easier to understand.

  5. LexG says:

    The Reader is GOING TO WIN.
    I would put money on it. S.M. was an early peaker, Button is this year’s Atonement… and Milk and Frost are practically also-rans.
    And Kami, obviously you’ll never get a legit answer out of me of all people that you want to hear, but my take on that 1998 slate has always been that Shakespeare was just so… slight. And light.
    I wouldn’t, and have never, really thought of it as “girly” (your word)… just kind of a small-scale, trivial goof of a movie. I distinctly remember that year’s telecast, and how they’d show these wrenching clips for Ryan and Thin Red Line, then Blanchett acting her ass off in “Elizabeth”… compared to that important, epic, dramatic, intense filmmaking sweat and blood… well, Joseph “Douchebag” Fiennes covering up his mustache and doing some ridiculous “mincing” voice to pass as a woman, just seemed like the weakest shit ever.

  6. leahnz says:

    ‘Aah, but if it’s the Academy that are so old and fogey then how come it also cruised so easily through everywhere else. Even the critics. When there were more obscure titles that reviewed better they still went with Frost/Nixon. Why the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs? International people don’t have any nostalgia for that moment in time do they?’
    yeah, good point, i don’t know, i guess i really WAS blowing smoke out my ass

  7. leahnz says:

    i still have this feeling ‘milk’ is going to pull the upset win, but i’m probably nuts

  8. jeffmcm says:

    Hey Lex, when The Reader loses, would you do us all a favor and stop predicting the future? Like $500 million grosses for lame-ass teen girl vampire movies and such and such?

  9. Leah, I think Milk is the only contender that could surprise – it has really passionate supporters – but I have only a 1% belief that it will. If it did then… that’d be really strange, but a pleasant surprise.

  10. Hallick says:

    “Frost/Nixon” is like the guy in an action movie shootout that grabs a bystander and uses their body for a bulletproof vest while round after round gets pumped into the suddenly unlucky bastard in fron of him. Which in this case, would be “The Reader” (neverminding whether or not this particular human shield deserves a few flesh wounds anyway). If “WaLL-E” or “Revolutionary Road” were there instead of Winslet’s film, I’m sure the outraged would be lining up to put one in the “Frost/Nixon” brainpan just as well. Maybe just not as much so, since the nomination for “The Reader” was so much more unlikely than the one for Howard’s film.

  11. T. Holly says:

    Haven’t listened yet. Does conversation stray to the nudity shot of Kross? It has at work because we’re dealing with MPAA issues.

  12. mutinyco says:

    1) Saving Private Ryan was directed by Steven Spielberg; The Reader was not.
    2) Saving Private Ryan grossed over $200M and was the highest-grossing picture released in 1998; The Reader has so far grossed $12.5M.
    3) Saving Private Ryan featured one of the greatest and most imitated shot-for-shot sequences in the history of cinema; The Reader features age make-up equal to a high school musical.
    And, just to say, I don’t really like Saving Private Ryan all that much… but objective reality is objective reality…

  13. IOIOIOI says:

    The Reader is this: TITS! PUSSY! NAZIS! CUMUPENCE! You really are going to put this ridiculous movie in the same league of Saving Private Ryan? A classic fucking war film, that sums up something most war films never do. Seriously; you have to be all out of sorts to even compare the Reader next to TDK or even Ryan. Easily the worst analogy on here not brought up by Jeff McMahon Esq.

  14. jeffmcm says:

    The original comparison KCamel made was between The Reader and Shakespeare in Love (as opposed to the very traditional, masculine Saving Private Ryan, which he considers is more similar to Frost/Nixon).

  15. IOIOIOI says:

    It still had to do with TDK, and it’s still a flawed analogy. Saving Private Ryan has it’s flaws, but it has some meaning behind it unlike Shakespeare in Love. A film that represents the best Oscar money can buy. The same goes with the Reader representing the best nominations money can buy.
    The Reader being nominated is simply embarrassing. One can go on about the old fogeys and their dislike of TDK, but that film at least has critics and fans behind it. The Reader has 12.5m, shitty reviews, and people stating how much the book is better.
    So it’s just a flawed analogy.

  16. jeffmcm says:

    Yes, good thing nobody was making that analogy. KCamel was saying “The Reader is to The Dark Knight, as Shakespeare in Love is to Saving Private Ryan”. As relatively less popular films that may have booted extremely popular, more masculine-oriented films from the Oscars.

  17. IOIOIOI says:

    Jeff: I was following mutiny’s point, and expanding on it. If you missed that in order to try to insult me. Good job for you, Captain Fail!

  18. jeffmcm says:

    Well, since Mutiny’s point contained facts and points of reference, and since your point consisted of trash-talking and incoherence, I think I can be excused.

  19. IOIOIOI says:

    Jeff: you are still an asshole. Congratulations Captain Fail!

  20. IOIOIOI says:

    Seriously; I can trash talk whatever I want because the Reader’s nomination was bought and paid for by Harvey. If I am supposed to respect every film. May I ask you why you are so disrespectful on here to several posters and films?
    Did you grow up and aspire to be a 43 year-old asshoe online? I bet if you did. Your father would smack you upside the head.
    Again; this is too easy when it’s you Jeff. You are way too easy to attack. I mean… look at you, look at me, then look at Santa Joe. He’s the real hot piece of man meat on this blog, and we need to accept it.

  21. Hallick says:

    I don’t see the hypocrisy in the idea of people decrying Saving Private Ryan’s loss while complaining that The Reader shouldn’t have been nominated at all. These are completely different situations.
    First of all, I don’t really accept the premise that these are, in fact, “the same people”, anymore than I accept the fact that The Reader took The Dark Knight’s slot.
    I agree that a lot of the animus towards Shakespeare In Love is your typical knee-jerk anti-“chick flick” reflexing, but Saving Private Ryan was still considered a great film by a large segment of the voting community, whereas The Reader really is not.
    And backing up a little to adjust some of your labels, Saving Private Ryan is a WWII film, but truly not a holocaust film; whether it’s from the same man who made Schindler’s List or not. The Reader, on the other hand, is topically a holocaust film, but not a WWII film. It’s a post-war Germany drama. Basic differences like these alone do damage to the idea that they match up in every way other than gender appeal.

  22. My original complaint was that people are complaining about The Reader getting in because it’s about world war ii and that it beat a genre movie to the spot.
    And yet they’re probably the same people who complain that a genre movie beat a world war ii movie. And, yes, being labelled a “romantic comedy” has more setbacks than being a “world war ii movie” so I think it’s fair to call Shakespeare in Love a “genre movie”. It clearly had more to overcome. To this very day people see it as unworthy of winning Best Picture (I think it’s one of the best decisions the Academy ever made) because it’s light and fluffy and unimportant.
    Why then is The Reader such a terrible choice. It’s about the war! and books! and guilt! and intellectual stuff!
    No, it’s merely because The Reader is small, female-driven and beat The Dark Knight (the big masculine action movie).

  23. IOIOIOI says:

    Kam: not only do you not get what the Dark Knight is as a film. You do not get what The Reader is… it’s teenage boy fantasy with Nazis thrown in. If that’s intellectual… Bob’s your uncle. Seriously; the Reader received a nomination thanks to Uncle Harvey. If it wins, and I fear that happening. It will win thanks to Uncle Harvey.

  24. jeffmcm says:

    I agree that there’s a bias against comedies and romances in the Oscar race, and in favor of ‘important’ and weighty movies. But The Reader is much more of an ‘Oscar movie’, since it has a literary background and pedigreed talent with multiple Oscar nominations and weighty subject matter, and The Dark Knight, for all its success, was still (apparently) considered to be a popcorn movie.
    My complaint about both The Reader and Shakespeare in Love is quite simply that there were other, much worthier movies out there in each year. I’d love it if more comedies and light films would win awards (Happy-Go-Lucky is my third or fourth favorite movie of this year) but I can’t see putting Shakespeare in Love into the same class as Annie Hall, or The Apartment, or any Chaplin film, or

  25. jeffmcm says:

    I seem to have had a small stroke there, sorry.

  26. LexG says:

    TDK or no TDK, there IS one movie in the Big Five this year that has NO business being there.
    And it isn’t The Reader. And it isn’t Frost/Nixon…

  27. leahnz says:

    the movie that should bloody well be there is ‘burn after reading’, that film is a fucking riot, terrific on every level (even mr. b pitt is hilarious in it and that’s really saying something coming from me), but it’s comedic so noooooooooo!
    there, i feel better now, had to get that off my chest. (and ‘rev. road’ should be there, bugger that fucking backassward academy and their crap taste!) now i feel doubly better (tho ‘no country’ won bp and that was a sterling pic… how can this be? none of it makes sense, it’s nonsensical)

  28. T. Holly says:

    So, who was woodier, Kross or Jason Segal?

  29. You’re such a wanker, IO. You know that, right?
    And I’m done.

  30. Roman says:

    KamikazeCamel, you demonstrated your shallowness when you called Saving Private Ryan a “Holocaust Movie”.
    First of all, it’s a movie with a completely different appeal and commercial base.
    Secondly, thirdly, blah blah.
    And lastly, it’s a damn fine film.
    People who complain about the Reader are the people who have never seen it in the first place.
    P.S. Boo fucking hoo.

  31. jeffmcm says:

    I’ve seen The Reader, and I’m happy to complain about it.

  32. Hallick says:

    “No, it’s merely because The Reader is small, female-driven and beat The Dark Knight (the big masculine action movie).”
    No, it’s because The Reader is only up there due to two things: Harvey Weinstein’s hustling and Kate Winslet’s serendipitous and simultaneous release of two great performances which are feeding off each in their prestige.
    I didn’t really like Shakespeare In Love, but I respected its nomination since there was a lot of admiration in its corner. In comparison, I don’t respect The Reader’s nomination; not because it’s female-driven, not because it’s small, but because it does not belong in the running for Best Picture this year. If The Dark Knight shouldn’t be in it’s place, then WALL-E should, or Man On Wire, or Waltz With Bashir, or Revolutionary Road (which is just as feminine but had a lot stronger reception than The Reader did). Being blasted at by chauvinists still doesn’t mean it has a place in the race.

  33. Cadavra says:

    There’s a third thing: a sentimental final vote for the almost-simultaneously-departed Pollack and Minghella. (Note how the Academy waived the maximum-of-three-producers rule this year for the sake of two dead men.)

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