THE READER (Stephen Daldry, 2008)

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“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, guaranteed an Oscar.

I’ve been nominated four times, never won. And the whole world is going, ‘Why hasn’t Winslet won one?’

That’s why I’m doing it. Schindler’s bloody List. The Pianist. Oscars coming out of their arse.”

– Extras S01E03 (“Kate Winslet”)

Rating: ★★★★☆

(Originally published September 5, 2017.)

EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE (Stephen Daldry, 2011)

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I remember watching United 93 and thinking that it might be just too soon for a 9/11 film. I was proven wrong though since that movie was raw and powerful without ever feeling exploitative.

This movie seemed to be the exact opposite (and I wasn’t surprised given Daldry’s filmography). Even with strong performances, everything about this movie felt manipulative. Every scene was perfectly staged to tug at your heartstrings and if that wasn’t enough, relentless voiceovers were added to do the trick. Unfortunately, it was just a wild goose chase full of uneasiness.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆