The Reader

Synopsis: THE READER opens in post-war Germany when teenager Michael Berg becomes ill and is helped home by Hanna, a stranger twice his age. Michael recovers from scarlet fever and seeks out Hanna to thank her. The two are quickly drawn into a passionate but secretive affair. Michael discovers that Hanna loves being read to and their physical relationship deepens. Hanna is enthralled as Michael reads to her from "The Odyssey," "Huck Finn" and "The Lady with the Little Dog." Despite their intense bond, Hanna mysteriously disappears one day and Michael is left confused and heartbroken. Eight years later, while Michael is a law student observing the Nazi war crime trials, he is stunned to find Hanna back in his life - this time as a defendant in the courtroom. As Hanna's past is revealed, Michael uncovers a deep secret that will impact both of their lives. THE READER is a story about truth and reconciliation, about how one generation comes to terms with the crimes of another.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Stephen Daldry
Production: The Weinstein Co./MGM
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 25 wins & 47 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
124 min

You didn't wake me.

You were sleeping.

It was because you can't bear

to have breakfast with me.

I've boiled you an egg.

I'd hardly have done that

if I didn't want to see you.

Tea or coffee?

Does any woman ever stay

long enough to find out

what the hell goes on in your head?

What are you doing tonight?

I'm seeing my daughter.

Your daughter?

You've kept very quiet about her.

Have I?

Well, she's been abroad for a year.

Did you say tea?

I'm going.

Have fun with your daughter.

Tickets, please.



Hey, you!

Your feet.

Hey, kid.

Up, up.

It's all right.

There now.

Where do you live?

It's just up here.

I'll be fine now.

Thank you.


Look after yourself.

I'm worried about him.

He looks terrible.

The boy's saying

he doesn't need a doctor.

He does.

- I don't need a doctor.

- Good, then.


We're not going to argue

about this.

Remind me,

how old are you now?

Michael's fifteen.

It's scarlet fever.

He'll be in bed

for several months at least.

Complete isolation.

Emily, keep away,

he's contagious.


How are you feeling?


I meant to tell you,

the day I got ill

a woman helped me.

She helped you?

Yes, she brought me home.

Do you have her address?



I brought you these flowers

to say thank you.

Put them over there in the sink.

I've been in bed

for three months.

You are better now?

Yes, thank you.

Have you always been weak?

No, I've never been sick before.

It's incredibly boring.

There's nothing to do.

I couldn't even be bothered to read.


thank you again.


I'll walk with you,

I have to go to work.

Wait in the hall while I change.

There are two more buckets


You can fill them

and bring them up.

You look ridiculous.

Look at you, kid.

You can't go home like that.

Take off your clothes.

I'll run you a bath.

Do you always take a bath

in your trousers?

It's all right.

I won't look.

I'll get you a towel.

So that's why you came back.

You're so beautiful.

What are you talking about?

Look at me, kid.



You've inconvenienced your mother.

How many more times?

I said I'm sorry.

You scared her.

I got lost, that's all. That's why

I was late. Can I have some more?

How can anyone get lost

in their own town?

I was going to the castle

and ended up at the sports field.

- They're in opposite directions.

- It's none of your business.

He's lying.

He's not lying.

Michael never lies.

I want to go back to school


- You need another three weeks.

- Well, I'm going.


Like this?

That's right.

Not so fast.

It's all right.

Do it again.

What's your name?


Your name?

Why do you want to know?

I've been here three times.

I want to know your name.

What's wrong with that?

Nothing, kid.

There's nothing wrong with that.

It's Hanna.

You looked so suspicious.

What's yours, kid?



So I'm with a Michael.


The notion of secrecy is central

to Western literature.

You may say

the whole idea of character

is defined

by people

holding specific information which,

for various reasons,

sometimes perverse,

sometimes noble,

they are determined not to disclose.

You never tell me

what you've been studying.


At school.

Do you learn languages?


What languages?


Say something in Latin.

"Quo, quo scelesti ruitis?"

"Aut cur dexteris aptantur

enses conditi?"

It's Horace.

It's wonderful.

Do you want some Greek?

"Oi men ippeon stroton

oi de pesedon"

"ego de ken otto tis eratai".

It's beautiful.

How can you tell?

How do you know

when you've no idea what it means?

What are you studying in German?

I'm studying a play.

By Gotthold Ephraim Lessing.

Have you heard of him?

It's called Emilia Galotti.

You can read it.

I'd rather listen to you.

All right.

"Act 1. Scene 1".

"The setting:

One of the prince's chambers".

"The prince".

I'm not very good.

Go on.


"nothing but complaints".

"For goodness' sake,

is there anything in life but work?"

"Just imagine

that people actually envy us".

You're good at it, aren't you?

Good at what?


What's funny?

I didn't think

I was good at anything.

What are you doing?

What is this?

Why did you behave

as if you didn't know me?

You didn't want to know me.

You saw I was in the first carriage.

So why did you sit in the second?

What did you think I was doing?

Why the hell

did you think I was there?

How should I know?

Now, I've been working,

I need a bath

and I'd like to be by myself.

Would you please leave?

I didn't mean to upset you.

You don't have the power

to upset me.

You don't matter enough

to upset me.

I don't know what to say.

I've never been

with a woman before.

We've been together four weeks.

I can't live without you.

I can't.

Even the thought of it kills me.

I sat in the second carriage

because I thought you might kiss me.

Kid, you thought

we could make love in a tram?

Is it true what you said?

That I don't matter to you?

Do you forgive me?

Do you love me?

Do you have a book?

Yes, I have.

I took one with me this morning.

What is it?

The Odyssey, by Homer.

It's my homework.

We're changing the order

we do things.

Read to me first, kid,

then we make love.

"The Odyssey, by Homer".

What's an odyssey?

It's a journey,

he sets out on a journey.


"Sing to me of the man, Muse,

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David Hare

Sir David Hare Born5 June 1947 (age 70) St Leonards-on-Sea, Hastings, East Sussex OccupationPlaywright, screenwriter, director EducationMA (Cantab.), English Literature Alma materLancing College Jesus College, Cambridge Notable worksThe Judas Kiss Plenty Pravda The Absence of War Licking Hitler Skylight Strapless The Blue Room Stuff Happens Notable awardsBAFTA, Golden Bear, Olivier Award SpouseNicole Farhi Sir David Hare (born 5 June 1947) is an English playwright, screenwriter and theatre and film director. Best known for his stage work, Hare has also enjoyed great success with films, receiving two Academy Award nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay for writing. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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