This film is proof that the Academy Award nominations are political. There is no reason this film should have been nominated for best picture, nor is there any reason to see the film. There are however some reasons why you shouldn't watch it:
1. A very un-sexy Kate Winslet has sex with a 15 year old boy for the first half of the film - Usually Kate Winslet is smokin' hot- what happened? Maybe it was the fact that she was having sex with a boy (I'm assuming the actor was 18 based on what they were able to show, but the fact is - He looked 15). It was a complete turn-off and so awkward to sit thru and it just kept going for what seemed like hours.
2. There was no point- Or maybe there was, and I just didn't get it. We learn very early on that she can't read through several subtle hints, but then towards the end are we supposed to be surprised by this fact? And I don't understand why she didn't just admit it, her pride was that strong that she would rather spend her life in prison? Maybe she was trying to punish herself because of her guilt, but she didn't even seem remorseful about her actions as a Nazi prison guard, so it's not really clear that she has guilt. The story is not memorable, complex or compelling at all- in fact it is pretty generic. There are so many films made about the Holocaust, I think in order for it to be "good" it has to be different, ask new questions and have some sort of shock value. The Reader had nothing of value to add to the canon of Holocaust films.
3. Kate was better in Revolutionary Road - Kate deserved the Oscar, just not for this film.