I’ve been watching a few movies recently but nothing worth recommending until this one. It’s provocative and disturbing and profound. Tissues are required.
Released in 2008 and directed by Stephen Daldry via Miramax Films. From the critically acclaimed 1995 book by Bernhard Schlink and produced by Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack, both of whom died before the movie was released.
The movie stars Kate Winslet as Hanna Schmitz, newcomer David Kross as Michael Berg and Ralph Fiennes as the older Michael.
The story starts in Berlin more than a decade after the Second World War ends. Hanna and Michael meet and commence a love affair that surprises, delights and disturbs. Hanna is the controlling older woman and she dictates the summer long relationship before one day leaving unexpectedly. Michael is devastated and carries the effect with him until they cross paths again in shocking circumstances many years later.
The storyline tackles the tough themes of communication, of guilt and of reconciliation and of coming to terms with the past.
The cinematography is gritty, the direction is sensitive though unsentimental but the flashback format took me a little while to settle in to. The performances are superb especially Kate Winslet who won a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, a Screen Actors Guild Award and the Academy Award for Best Actress for this film. Stephen Daldry was nominated for the Best Director Oscar and the movie was nominated for Best Picture but lost out to Slumdog Millionaire.
Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a movie that provokes thought. Oh, and I really do mean it about the tissues, I cried absolute buckets.