The Reader is a book that tells the story of Michael, a 15 year old School boy in Germany who meets a 36 year old tram conductor called Hanna, who cares for him while he is ill. They begin an affair, a ritual of bathing and making love, before which she frequently has him read aloud to her, chiefly works of German Literature (hence the title). The affair ends months later when Hanna suddenly leaves leaving Michael full of guilt, affecting all his later relationships.
They later meet again while he is al law school observing a war crimes trial. A group of middle-aged women who had served as guards at a satellite of Auschwitz near Cracow are being tried for allowing Jewish women under their ostensible protection to die in a church that burned after being bombed during the evacuation of the camp. To Michael's surprise, Hanna is one of the defendants.
The Weinstein Co. has snapped up the rights for the movie which will re-team Nicole Kidman and Stephen Daldry, who worked together on "The Hours,"
Based on Bernhard Schlink's international best-selling novel, David Hare, who adapted the Oscar-nominated screenplay for "The Hours," will do the same for "The Reader."
Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack are producing the long-gestating project, which originally was set up at Miramax, alongside "The Hours" producer Scott Rudin. Shooting is scheduled to begin next month in Germany. Ralph Fiennes has also been cast, probably as the adult Michael.
One can only wonder if Kidman will indeed portray Hanna from 36 to an old woman? The last time her and Daldry teamed up with a good makeup artist, the results ended in an Oscar. Could that be the ticket for her Oscar wins? Is she too beautiful for Oscar? Do they need to see her uglified to really see her talent? Who knows?
The woman is taking on A LOT of high profile projects lately…one has to wonder how she manages the time to prepare herself to find the truth in performance for each new character.
She has four very complex looking roles coming out in the next year or two, all of them appear to either be filming now, or in post production. How does one manage? Will she burn herself out and take a year off working afterwards, or will she phone in a few performances?
I find actors amazing creatures. How can they get inside the head of characters and then switch off, especially when the characters go through so much emotional turmoil. No wonder poor ole Bjork was frazzled and swore to never act again after “Dancer in the Dark”.
How do they do what they do, then skip over to the next project, and the next character?