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YMMV / The Reader

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  • Award Snub:
    • As noted below, the film didn't win Best Picture, but fans of other films were very vocal that it got a nomination in favour of them.
    • Inverted with Kate Winslet. She won, marking her first Oscar win, but many felt she should have been recognised for better roles such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Little Children or Iris. Even within that year, many claimed that she should have won for Revolutionary Road instead of The Reader.
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  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Nowadays, the Holocaust narrative of the film often comes second to the detail that it's a film where a thirtysomething has an affair with a 15-year-old.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Kate Winslet's appearance in Extras was, at best, very prophetic:
    "I don't think we really need another film about the Holocaust, do we? It's like, how many have there been, you know? We get it. It was grim. Move on. No, I'm doing it because I've noticed that if you do a film about the Holocaust you're guaranteed an Oscar."
    • Ricky Gervais pointed this out at the Golden Globes that year. "Well done Winslet, I told ya, do a Holocaust movie, the awards come, didn't I?"
  • Internet Backdraft: This movie wasn't very well received to begin with, even by critics, but it's especially hated by the better-received and better-remembered The Dark Knight and WALL•E fans for "stealing" their Best Picture spots.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: This film might better be remembered as the one that fans of The Dark Knight and Wall-E claimed they were snubbed in favor of, due to the typical aggressive campaigning efforts of Harvey Weinstein. This would prompt the Academy to expand the Best Picture nominations to a maximum of ten films as a result.
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  • Unfortunate Implications: Here about the fact that the film implies Hanna being illiterate is worse than helping kill three hundred Jewish women in a fire.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The fact that Hanna took advantage of an ill sixteen-year-old boy makes a lot of people refuse to give her any sympathy. Oh, and the whole thing about her being complicit in the death of several hundred Jewish women.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The make-up used to age Kate Winslet about forty years is quite impressive.
  • What an Idiot!: Hannah would rather take a life sentence than admit to the court that she cannot read.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: Hanna's inability to read is a rather transparent metaphor for the inability of her generation to see the evil of the Nazis at the time it was occurring; not incidentally, it's by learning to read that she becomes fully aware of the enormity of the Holocaust.


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