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I cannot believe that there has not been serious lobbying for The Reader. It has all of the usual TWMOAT criteria and it is quite possibly the most tone-deaf movie ever, with its tone-deafness perhaps topped only by its general offensiveness. And it’s a wholly insulting movie, from beginning to end.
Winslet’s character has zero redeeming qualities (which, in an ironic twist, may be the only redeemable thing about the movie because for the actor it’s an interesting choice, oh that and the fact that Ricky Gervais predicted this whole thing a couple of years ago when Winslet guest starred on his show Extras), a former Nazi guard who during the War so blindly followed orders that she let a church-full of prisoners die in a fire rather than let the sub-humans run free, but it’s okay now because she’s spending the post-War years making up for it by screwing a fifteen-year-old and listening to LeVar Burton-on-tape. At every turn the filmmakers show that they somehow equate her somewhat onerous life with her being a part of the deaths of millions of others (and in a more subtextual insult, they seem to mix up the phenomenon of “guilt,” which certainly occurred in post-War Germany, and “survivor guilt,” which is a whole other thing; perpetrators don’t get to experience “survivor guilt”).
When she finally does us all a favor and offs herself, she leaves her meager few bucks to the one survivor of that church fire, who, in a final grand affront of the movie, lives in a perfectly decorated apartment on Park Avenue, because, as we all know, all Jews are rich and live on the Upper East Side of New York and therefore what the Nazis did was not so bad because it all worked out for the best for the Jews anyway, right? They should have just been up front about the whole thing and handed out copies of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion with the movie tickets. It’s what Henry Ford used to do.
Gabe, please, it has to be The Reader, it hits every possible TWMOAT box. It’s offensive to your sensibilities and offensive to your eyes (like a tripping and falling eyes first into mound of thumbtacks, which is quite an accomplishment given that there is so much frontal nudity in the movie, generally an esthetically pleasing phenomenon). You may as well just crown it now.