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The Reader

When he falls ill on his way home from school, 15 year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. The two begin an unexpected and passionate affair only for Hanna to suddenly and inexplicably disappear. Eight years later, Michael, now a young law student observing Nazi war trials, meets his former lover again, under very different circumstances. Hanna is on trial for a hideous crime, and as she refuses to defend herself, Michael gradually realizes his boyhood love may be guarding… Show more

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December 25, 2008 - Boston.com - Wesley Morris, Globe Staff

Late into "The Reader," the movie's young German protagonist, Michael Berg (David Kross), visits Auschwitz concentration camp well after the end of WWII. The camera surveys the dreary landscape and finds several giant cages of shoes. It's a scene as superfluous as the movie itself is irksome. What does Michael hope to discover on this trip? What do the filmmakers? After a sensuous introductory act, "The Reader" descends into a series of dismaying contradictions regarding the moral toxins of the Holocaust - which still pollute postwar Germany.

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