Sensual adaptation is a little dry
I chose to watch this movie for my First Year Seminar Holocaust class, mainly because of Kate Winslet's Oscar-winning turn in it. Suffice it to say I was a little surprised by the abundance of nudity in this picture, the likes of which definitely make it not for kids, even if there's no profanity or violence to go along with it. But Winslet is great as Hanna Schmitz, who becomes smitten with teenage German Michael Berg in post war Germany. Their affair is short but leaves a lifelong impact on both, especially Michael. While strictly on legal terms the relationship is pedophilloic, it is completely consensual, though the story would be way more disturbing if the gender roles were reversed, and that's the double standard to these things. Sometimes I found Michael a little hard to sympathize with; yes he's with this caring older woman but he has so many girls his age, and he's constantly leaving them to be with Hanna. That's only half the movie though, the other half sees Michael coming to grips with something Hanna does that gets her accused of heinous crimes, and something inside him still cares for her immensely. The acting and strong material the film's based on make it legitimate, though I certainly wouldn't put this in the Best Picture field over strong movies like "The Dark Knight" and "Gran Torino" in the Oscar year of 2008. It's not so much a history lesson as it is more a study of love, both physical and emotional, and how it leaves its marks on you forever.