“The Reader” Director Stephen Daldry

Though literary works are catnip to filmmakers, it’s always dicey to reinvent one for the screen. Witness “Revolutionary Road,” which will send the unwary viewer reaching for the Welbutrin, despite the best efforts of Kate and Leo, reunited for first time since the boat went down. Trouble is, what often gets lost in the translation to screen is the element which can raise a dark book above merely depressing: language, a writer’s capital. Of course, very occasionally a film adaptation can be better than the novel – the case with “The English Patient,” which retained the original’s powerfully haunting tone, while spelling out the novel’s buried plot points. 

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