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The Oscar for worst excuse for sex in a film...
Powerline ^ | March 8,2009 | Scott Johnson

Posted on 03/09/2009 11:58:04 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

We just got around to seeing "The Reader" this weekend (warning: plot spoilers below). I don't think I've ever seen a movie that I felt ruined my weekend. This was a first for me.

If only there were an Oscar for worst excuse for sex in a film, "The Reader" could have garnered the Oscar it deserved. As it was, Kate Winslet won the best actress award for her sympathetic potrayal of an Auschwitz camp guard in the film.

The first hour of the film is devoted to a graphic portrayal of the postwar affair between Winslet's character Hanna Schmitz and the teenage high school boy whom she makes her lover. Why the need to see Kate Winslet naked and simulating sex? I think it has something to do with the filmmakers' desire to create an irresistible box-office combination of pornography yoked with a high-minded view of the Holocaust.

Ron Rosenbaum dispenses justice of a sort in his condemnation of "The Reader." Rosenbaum rightly objects to the portrayal of an Auschwitz camp guard as an innocent victim of the Holocaust. Any decent person who understands what is going on would be disgusted by the film several times over.

One cause for disgust not mentioned by Rosenbaum is the contrast drawn between Hanna Schmitz and a surviving victim of her mass murder (leaving 300 Jews locked in a burning church). At the end of the film, Schmitz has served 20 years in a West German prison for her crime. She is about to be released, but chooses this moment to hang herself in her cell.

The filmmakers exercise great tact regarding the scene of Schmitz's death. They only show Winslet stacking up her books on the floor in order to hang herself. When it comes to depicting Winselt dying the filmmakers are far more reserved than when depicting Winslet naked. Such taste! This is art.

The scene cuts from Schmitz's shabby cell to a luxury apartment in the United States. Schmitz's now adult ex-lover delivers the money saved by Schmitz in prison to the survivor who testified against her at her trial. The stark contrast drawn by the film between the survivor living in luxury and the former Auschwitz guard living modestly in prison (teaching herself to read) represents a vicious fantasy that by itself captures the revolting animus of the film.


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: katewinslet; oscar; sex

1 posted on 03/09/2009 11:58:04 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

The filmakers must not view sex and death in the same light.


2 posted on 03/09/2009 12:01:03 PM PDT by stuartcr (If the end doesn't justify the means...why have different means?)
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To: SeekAndFind

In the hopes of helping to raise the level of discourse on what could become a rather low brow thread, I’ll just comment that “I’d hit it”.


3 posted on 03/09/2009 12:02:07 PM PDT by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my Dear Friend Henry Lee II)
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To: SeekAndFind

I’d have to see what Kate has to offer before rendering my opinion . . . and my first guess is that it’s a lot . . . probably will wait till the DVD release and then watch it with the sound off. She’s a charmer.


4 posted on 03/09/2009 12:04:44 PM PDT by laweeks
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To: Owl_Eagle

hmm isn’t that like necrophilia?


5 posted on 03/09/2009 12:04:50 PM PDT by ari-freedom (Hail to the Dork!)
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To: SeekAndFind
Rosenbaum rightly objects to the portrayal of an Auschwitz camp guard as an innocent victim of the Holocaust.

The Reader doesn't do that.

It portrays her war-crimes trial, at which she readily and bluntly admits to her crimes. How anyone finds an "innocent victim" in that is beyond me.

6 posted on 03/09/2009 12:04:57 PM PDT by Petronski (For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden. -- Cdl. Stafford)
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To: Owl_Eagle

repeatedly...


7 posted on 03/09/2009 12:05:57 PM PDT by green iguana
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To: SeekAndFind
Schmitz's now adult ex-lover delivers the money saved by Schmitz in prison to the survivor who testified against her at her trial.

NO. Not the survivor. The survivor's daughter.

8 posted on 03/09/2009 12:06:46 PM PDT by Petronski (For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden. -- Cdl. Stafford)
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To: SeekAndFind

I don’t think you saw the same movie as Petronski.


9 posted on 03/09/2009 12:11:13 PM PDT by neocon1984
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To: SeekAndFind

Ooops. Mother and daughter were both survivors. My bad.


10 posted on 03/09/2009 12:11:20 PM PDT by Petronski (For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden. -- Cdl. Stafford)
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To: Owl_Eagle

LOL, excellent!


11 posted on 03/09/2009 12:14:05 PM PDT by agere_contra (So ... where's the birth certificate?)
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To: laweeks

Didn’t you see the Titanic?


12 posted on 03/09/2009 12:15:40 PM PDT by Welcome2thejungle
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: SeekAndFind

Note since the shower scene in Twister...


14 posted on 03/09/2009 12:17:07 PM PDT by PfromHoGro (The first 12 paragraphs from a liberal are a lie.)
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To: Petronski
"NO. Not the survivor. The survivor's daughter.

Correct, it was her daughter. But, when I saw the film, I too thought that the vivid contrast between the dingy prison and a multi-million dollar Park Ave. apartment was curious. The survivor's daughter couldn't have been living in Queens or a suburb of Cincinnati, for that matter? No. I think they were intentionally painting survivors and their offspring as people who have done remarkably well since the end of the war. It begs the question, why?

Last, I too agree that Winslet's character was painted in a sympathetic light and gave great deference to her argument, both implicit and explicit, that she was an "uneducated" victim of her own circumstance. Ridiculous. She was an active participant in a an attempt to exterminate and entire race.

But, what do I know? I'm just a mid-west raised Catholic who went to school to be an economist, not a filmmaker. The significant population of Jewish-Americans that make up the Academy of Motion Picture's Art and Sciences saw it differently.

15 posted on 03/09/2009 12:17:29 PM PDT by Big_Monkey
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To: Big_Monkey
Last, I too agree that Winslet's character was painted in a sympathetic light and gave great deference to her argument, both implicit and explicit, that she was an "uneducated" victim of her own circumstance.

I didn't find her sympathetic at all, nor do I think she was portrayed as such.

16 posted on 03/09/2009 12:19:59 PM PDT by Petronski (For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden. -- Cdl. Stafford)
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To: Petronski
It portrays her war-crimes trial, at which she readily and bluntly admits to her crimes. How anyone finds an "innocent victim" in that is beyond me.

The sympathy angle comes from the fact that she admitted them in order to cover up her illiteracy. Though how an illiterate could process tram tickets and make change all day beats men.

17 posted on 03/09/2009 12:20:50 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: SeekAndFind

Someone else here referred to it as soft porn. Too bad Hollywood has to depend on sex to sell a movie, especially with a great actress as Kate.

Also, too bad she will regret it years from now when her children see Mommy’s naked body sold out to Hollywood (while Daddy directed the whole event).

Kate’s one of the top actresses in the industry. She didn’t have to sink so low.


18 posted on 03/09/2009 12:23:51 PM PDT by Cedar
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To: Big_Monkey
I think they were intentionally painting survivors and their offspring as people who have done remarkably well since the end of the war. It begs the question, why?

So that we might recognize that no amount of greater success on the victims' part, nor no amount of punishment on the perpetrators' part, could undo the horror of what the latter did to the former during the Holocaust.

In other words, Hanna was reduced to nothing, yet her punishment was not enough. Ilana was elevated to great wealth and comfort, yet it could not assuage the pain of the evil she endured.

19 posted on 03/09/2009 12:25:48 PM PDT by Petronski (For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden. -- Cdl. Stafford)
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To: SeekAndFind

Follywood reeks with the putrid odor of godless souls destined for Hell. No decent person is entertained by viewing depravity, much less enabling evil by paying for it.


20 posted on 03/09/2009 12:26:35 PM PDT by kittymyrib
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To: Cedar
Kate’s one of the top actresses in the industry. She didn’t have to sink so low.

Hey, she wanted an Oscar.

21 posted on 03/09/2009 12:27:06 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Non-Sequitur
The sympathy angle comes from the fact that she admitted them in order to cover up her illiteracy.

That wasn't how it went.

She readily admitted she was one of six, and everything they did. She falsely accepted blame for the memo (and thus got life rather than 5 years) to conceal her illiteracy.

22 posted on 03/09/2009 12:29:20 PM PDT by Petronski (For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden. -- Cdl. Stafford)
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To: SeekAndFind

I need more visual evidence to determine how offended I should be.


23 posted on 03/09/2009 12:30:19 PM PDT by lewisglad
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To: SeekAndFind

How long before this gets to the dollar movie?


24 posted on 03/09/2009 12:31:11 PM PDT by ontap (Just another backstabbing conservative)
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To: SeekAndFind

In real life there is no “bad” excuse for sex.


25 posted on 03/09/2009 12:31:37 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (We have nothing to fear but Obama himself.)
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To: laweeks
Totally Innocent!


26 posted on 03/09/2009 12:31:49 PM PDT by lewisglad
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To: SeekAndFind

“The Oscar for worst excuse for sex in a film...”

My nomination goes to the gratutiuous and completely out of place bedroom scene in “Kindergarden Cop”


27 posted on 03/09/2009 12:31:49 PM PDT by Hacklehead (Liberalism is the art of taking what works, breaking it, and then blaming conservatives.)
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To: Cedar
It was soft porn, at least for the first three or four reels.
28 posted on 03/09/2009 12:32:57 PM PDT by Petronski (For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden. -- Cdl. Stafford)
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To: SeekAndFind
Any decent person who understands what is going on would be disgusted by the film several times over.

As with most of what Hollyweird sells -- junk that is too juvenile for adults and too graphic for children.

29 posted on 03/09/2009 12:36:40 PM PDT by BenLurkin (Mornie` utulie`. Mornie` alantie`.)
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To: SeekAndFind
What bothers me about a lot of movies I have watched is that they are very good movies which I would like to watch with my kids but I can't because of the unneeded obligatory nudity and sex scenes
30 posted on 03/09/2009 12:37:52 PM PDT by BBell
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To: lewisglad

Ah, my wife at 19! God Bless Woman!


31 posted on 03/09/2009 12:39:24 PM PDT by mdk1960
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To: SeekAndFind
"I mean, I don't think we need another film about the Holocaust, do we? It's like, how many have there been? No, we get it, it was grim, move on. No, I'm doing this because I've noticed that if you do a film about the Holocaust, guaranteed an Oscar. I've been nominated four times. Never won. The whole world is going, 'Why hasn't Winslet won one?'... That's it. That's why I'm doing it. Schindler's bloody List. The Pianist. Oscars coming out of their arse."
--Kate Winslet, Extras

32 posted on 03/09/2009 12:43:54 PM PDT by steve-b (Intelligent design is to evolutionary biology what socialism is to free-market economics.)
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To: mdk1960

33 posted on 03/09/2009 12:44:10 PM PDT by lewisglad
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To: SeekAndFind
She's done several sim-sex scenes. Seems to be getting her parts.
34 posted on 03/09/2009 12:44:51 PM PDT by colorado tanker (Oh my God, am I hoping for change.)
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To: lewisglad
Photobucket
35 posted on 03/09/2009 12:45:10 PM PDT by ontap (Just another backstabbing conservative)
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To: mdk1960

Yeah, the Best Actress Award goes to portayal of a pedophile and the Best Actor to the portrayal of a homosexual. Go figure.


36 posted on 03/09/2009 12:46:32 PM PDT by teddyballgame
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s very simple, really. I think we all agree that between seeing Kate Winslet naked and seeing Kate Winslet dead...live naked Kate wins every time.


37 posted on 03/09/2009 12:49:17 PM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: ontap

38 posted on 03/09/2009 12:49:36 PM PDT by lewisglad
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To: Cedar

Kate has been doing naked on screen for a long, long time.


39 posted on 03/09/2009 1:05:31 PM PDT by DB
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To: lewisglad
That's not actually her. It was photoshopped or air brushed without her knowledge. The other photos weren't.

Kate was a heavy teenager and had trouble later on living up to the film industry's weight standards.

That she had an uphill battle and has been upfront about it makes her perhaps more admirable than other stars and starlets.

40 posted on 03/09/2009 1:15:58 PM PDT by x
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To: Petronski

I am scratchinng my head at the concerted effort to belttle, condemn, mock, and marginalise this film. I have seen all of this years majors, Milk, Slumdog, etc. The Reader is the only movie which was at least worth the time spent watching.


41 posted on 03/09/2009 1:25:59 PM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
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To: nkycincinnatikid
I finally saw Slumdog and found it to be superior to Milk and The Reader, but I have no plans to sit through Benjamin Button.
42 posted on 03/09/2009 1:28:26 PM PDT by Petronski (For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden. -- Cdl. Stafford)
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To: springtime4hillary

That made me laugh out loud. Great find!


43 posted on 03/09/2009 1:32:58 PM PDT by RinaseaofDs
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To: Petronski

I admit to falling asleep watching Slumdog. But I’ve been assured by those who endured for the “Bollywood” dance ending, that I was fortunate.


44 posted on 03/09/2009 1:37:15 PM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
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To: Petronski
"In other words, Hanna was reduced to nothing, yet her punishment was not enough. Ilana was elevated to great wealth and comfort, yet it could not assuage the pain of the evil she endured.

Point well taken.

45 posted on 03/09/2009 1:40:19 PM PDT by Big_Monkey
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To: Petronski
"I finally saw Slumdog and found it to be superior to Milk and The Reader, but I have no plans to sit through Benjamin Button.

FWIW, the best movie that I saw last year was a tiny film call "In Bruges". It's probably not for everyone, but for me it really worked.

It's a character study that's focused on two assassins that need to lay low for a while. Bruges it's self becomes a character all it's own. The dialogue is interesting, Colin Ferrel gives his best performance yet, and Ralph Fienes and Brendan Gleeson both should have been nominated in supporting roles.

Here's the best part - no politics in any way. It does what movies do best; It explores the complexities and frailties of the human condition.

46 posted on 03/09/2009 1:56:53 PM PDT by Big_Monkey
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To: DB

I’ve only seen “Sense and Sensibility” and “Eternal Sunshine...”

In both of those she was excellent. Just from seeing those two performances I could tell she was better than most current actresses.

With her talent she shouldn’t demean herself by unclothing in movies (or magazines for that matter).


47 posted on 03/09/2009 8:48:59 PM PDT by Cedar
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To: laweeks
"...probably will wait till the DVD release..."

May I preemptively recommend the Director's Cut? Haven't seen the movie, but in my limited experience, there tends to be more nekkids in it.

Just an FYI.

48 posted on 03/11/2009 5:32:45 AM PDT by I Buried My Guns (FMCDH - BITS - BLOAT, and all that other stuff)
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