Bookish News: "Can 'The Reader' Win Best Picture at Oscars Without an Editing Nomination?"

This particular piece of Bookish News caught my eye. As an editor, my short answer is "No".

But this begs a larger question to me: Should The Reader be nominated for Best Picture at all? Chris and I read this book together at the beginning of our blog, and we both found it loathsome. We spent an entire afternoon trashing this book as we consumed pie (we need consolation after reading a book we hate). We were dismayed to find that it was being made into a movie. And now it is up for Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards. How discouraging is that?

Populated with unlikable, unsympathetic characters, this story is depressing, but for all the wrong reasons. Bernhard Schlink's tells us the story of a young boy who is seduced by an older woman. She has a dark past to atone for--she was a prison guard at a Nazi concentration camp. But we're supposed to feel bad for her, you see, because she can't read. Huh? (Oh, and by the way, NO way this character looks like Kate Winslet, who plays her in the movie.)

I'd love to hear that you think I'm wrong--someone please enlighten me. What am I missing here that others find fascinating and worthy of note?


wookyluvr said...

Some mutual lady friends and myself went to see The Reader a month or so ago, and while dark, we agreed it was good. There is a lot of psychological "stuff" there... she is so emotionless and "German" in her attitude about what happened during the war and she never really changes. He is damaged by her, but goes through some interesting things himself, and he does change as he gets older... and you can understand his reasons for doing what he does (and doesn't do). It takes him many years to work her out of his system, and that's an interesting process, too. Anyway, I don't think any of us read the book, so we didn't have any baggage going into the theater. It was not my favorite movie, but I thought it was interesting, and I thought the performances were pretty grand. But I'd rather see Slumdog win.

Chris said...

Frankly, I think you are right about something you said some time ago, Carole: Hollywood will publish anything that has been well-received on the page (3.5 stars on Amazon).

I also started reading "Benjamin Button" and stopped because it was such a pablum story. But it was by Fitzgerald, so it *must* be good....

Carole said...

I'm glad that you found the movie satisfying. Her lack of emotion and his lack of likability in the book were very irritating to me--I simply wasn't rooting for any of the characters.