The Reader is a 2008 British drama film based on the 1995 German novel of the same name by Bernhard Schlink. The film adaptation was written by David Hare and directed by Stephen Daldry. Ralph Fiennes and Kate Winslet star along with the young actor David Kross. It was the last film for producers Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack, both of whom died before it was released. Production began in Germany in September 2007, and the film opened in limited release on 10 December 2008.
It tells the story of Michael Berg, a German lawyer who as a teenager in the late 1950s had an affair with an older woman, Hanna Schmitz, who then disappeared only to resurface years later as one of the defendants in a war crimes trial stemming from her actions as a concentration camp guard late in the war. Michael realizes that Hanna is keeping a secret she believes is worse than her Nazi past, a secret that may cost her at the trial.
Winslet and David Kross, who plays the young Michael, have received much praise for their performances. Winslet won the Best Actress Academy Award in 2009 for her role in the film. The film has also been nominated for several other major awards.