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- iHaveNet.com: Oscars 2009
The movie "The Reader" opens in post-WWII Germany when teenager Michael Berg becomes ill and is helped home by Hanna, a stranger twice his age. Michael recovers from scarlet fever and seeks out Hanna to thank her. The two are quickly drawn into a passionate but secretive affair.
Michael discovers that Hanna loves being read to and their physical relationship deepens. Hanna is enthralled as Michael reads to her from The Odyssey, Huck Finn and The Lady with the Little Dog.
Despite their intense bond, Hanna mysteriously disappears one day and Michael is left confused and heartbroken.
"The Reader" - 5 Academy Award Oscar Nominations
- Best picture
- Kate Winslet - Best Performance by an actress in a leading role<
- Best Cinematography
- Best Directing
- BestAdapted screenplay
Eight years later, while Michael is a law student observing the Nazi war crime trials, he is stunned to find Hanna back in his life this time as a defendant in the courtroom. As Hannas past is revealed, Michael uncovers a deep secret that will impact both of their lives. THE READER is a haunting story about truth and reconciliation, about how one generation comes to terms with the crimes of another.
The film "The Reader" stars Ralph Fiennes, David Kross and Kate Winslet, and is directed by Stephen Daldry (the Academy Award nominated director of THE HOURS), from a script by David Hare, and based on the award winning novel by Bernhard Schlink. Schlinks The Reader has been translated into 40 languages and was the first German novel to reach number one on The New York Times Bestseller List.
How do you live in the shadow of modern historys greatest crime? Can a generation come to terms with the unforgivable sins of its elders? Or are some legacies too overwhelming to comprehend, too evil to accept, too terrible to ever recover from?
THE READER tells the story of Michael Berg, a boy growing up in post-war Germany whose earnest, early stirrings of love involve a mysterious older woman hiding a shameful past, along with another deeply personal secret. As curiosity gives way to uneasy guilt experienced by those who came of age after the Holocaust, director Stephen Daldry believes that, ultimately, this is a film about truth and reconciliation.
The compelling story of THE READER in many ways touches on the deeply transformative power of words and literacy. So it seems fitting that the film originated with a lyrically simple, yet emotionally jarring, booka formally beautiful, disturbing and, finally, morally devastating novel, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Written by Berlin law professor and mystery novelist Bernhard Schlink, the semi-autobiographical work was published in 1995, later translated into 40 other languages, and became the first German novel to top the New York Times bestseller list, garnering widespread attention in 1999 after Oprah Winfrey chose the title for her popular book club. Who would have guessed that a book only 218 pages long could stir up so many emotions? asked Winfrey, who noted that more men read the novel than any of her other book club selections before it was discussed on her program.
Its a story about what we call the second generation, says Schlink, describing the lucky late-born children of the post-war years. We grew up in a very naïve way until, at some point, we realized just what our parents and pastors and teachers had done. When you love someone who has been engaged in something awful, it can entangle you. In Germany, the movement towards comprehending the war even required its own psychological termvergangenheitsbewältigung, meaning the struggle to come to terms with the past. The novel is considered so important to understanding the countrys history that it has even been used as a textbook in German schools.
"The Reader" - About the Cast
KATE WINSLET / Hanna Schmitz
English born actress, Kate Winslet, grew up in a family of actors and began performing for British television when she was thirteen. At the age of seventeen, she made her name internationally in Peter Jackson's feature film HEAVENLY CREATURES. She followed that in 1995 with her role as Marianne Dashwood in Ang Lee's SENSE AND SENSIBILITY. Kate received her first Academy Award nomination for this performance and was also nominated for a Golden Globe. She then went on to win the BAFTA and the Screen Actors Guild Award.
In her next film, she co-starred with Christopher Eccleston in Michael Winterbottom's JUDE and then as Ophelia in Kenneth Branagh's HAMLET. She then went on to appear as the amazing Rose in James Cameron's TITANIC opposite Leonardo DiCaprio. At the age of 22, Kate received her second Academy Award nomination for this role and the honor of being the youngest actress ever to be nominated for two Academy Awards.
In 1997 Kate starred as Julia in HIDEOUS KINKY, directed by Gillies McKinnon, and in 1998 co-starred with Harvey Keitel in Jane Campion's comedic drama HOLY SMOKE. She also starred in Philip Kaufman's period drama QUILLS along with Geoffrey Rush, Joaquin Phoenix and Michael Caine.
Kate co-starred in the Richard Eyre production of IRIS. In her performance portraying a young Iris Murdoch, Kate received a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination. She next starred in Michael Apteds' ENIGMA, a spy drama about code breakers during early WWII period and THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE with Kevin Spacey. Kate then came to New York and dyed her hair blue and orange for her amazing portrayal as the quirky Clementine in ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND for which she has received Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for Best Actress. She then went on to star opposite Johnny Depp in FINDING NEVERLAND, which was named 2004 Best Film by the National Board of Review.
In 2006, Kate was seen in ALL THE KING's MEN, opposite Jude Law and Sean Penn, directed by Steven Zaillian. She then extended her voice to the animated feature FLUSHED AWAY. Kate finished the year in the romantic comedy THE HOLIDAY opposite Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, and Jack Black and also stared opposite Jennifer Connelly in Todd Field's LITTLE CHILDREN. Kate received her fifth Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of Sarah Pierce in LITTLE CHILDREN. This nomination earned Kate the title as the youngest actress to receive five nominations.
Kate can be seen next in REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, which reteams her with TITANIC co-star Leonardo DiCaprio. REVOLUTIONARY ROAD is based on the critically acclaimed novel by Richard Yates and is directed by her husband, Sam Mendes.
RALPH FIENNES / Michael Berg, 1970s-1990s
Fiennes was born in Suffolk and grew up in England and Ireland. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA), after which he began his professional acting career on stage. He performed at London's Regents Park in both "The Theatre Clwyd" and "The Oldman Coliseum." Two years after graduating RADA, he joined Michael Rudman's company at the Royal National Theatre. He later joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where for two seasons he appeared in such plays as "Henry VI, " King Lear" and "Love's Labour's Lost."
In 1991, Fiennes landed his first television appearance in a small but telling role in the award-winning PRIME SUSPECT. Fiennes was then cast by David Puttnam as T.E. Lawrence in A DANGEROUS MAN: LAWRENCE AFTER ARABIA, a film which detailed the legendary hero's struggle to secure Arab independence on the battlefield of the Paris Peace Conference.
Fiennes made his feature film debut starring opposite Juliette Binoche as Heathcliff in Peter Kosminsky's, EMILY BRONTE's WUTHERING HEIGHTS. Steven Spielberg was so impressed by Fiennes performance in WUTHERING HEIGHTS that he cast him as the sinister Nazi Aman Goeth in SCHINDLER's LIST, opposite Liam Neeson. His role as Aman Goeth earned him an Academy Award nomination, and awards from BAFTA, the New York Film Critics Circle, National Society of Film Critics, Boston Society of Film Critics, Chicago Film Critics Association, and London Critics Circle for best supporting actor.
Other notable acting performances include Robert Redford's acclaimed QUIZ SHOW, Kathryn Bigelow's STRANGE DAYS, Gillian Armstrong's OSCAR AND LUCINDA and Martha Fiennes' ONEGIN opposite Liv Tyler, which Fiennes also executive produced. Fiennes also starred in Neil Jordan's THE END OF THE AFFAIR, THE GOOD THIEF, THE AVENGERS and Istvan Szabo's SUNSHINE.
In 1994 Fiennes opened as Hamlet in a sell-out production by Jonathan Kent for the Almeida Theatre Company at the Hackney Empire, which became the theatrical event of the year. The production moved to Broadway, and Fiennes won the coveted Tony award for his performance in June of 1995.
In 1995, Fiennes starred in the Academy Award-winning THE ENGLISH PATIENT, directed by Anthony Minghella, for which Fiennes was nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for Best Actor.
Fiennes then returned to the theatre in Jonathan Kent's acclaimed production of "Ivanov" at the Almeida Theatre in London. Fiennes performance won rave reviews, which took the play to Moscow. During 2000, Fiennes appeared triumphantly on the London stage in the title roles of Richard II and Coriolanus for the Almeida Theatre, and he triumphed in a guest cameo role in Kenneth Branagh's West End production of "The Play I Wrote."
In 2002 Fiennes starred in David Cronenberg's film SPIDER as the disturbed schizophrenic in search of his past and in RED DRAGON as the psychotic but vulnerable serial killer, opposite Emily Watson and Edward Norton. He had a cameo role in Neil Jordan's THE GOOD THIEF and also starred opposite Jennifer Lopez in MAID IN MANHATTAN.
In 2005, Fiennes appeared in THE CHUMSCRUBBER, opposite Rita Wilson and Glenn Close. THE CHUMSCRUBBER debuted at the Sundance Film Festival that year. Fiennes was also seen in Martha Fiennes' CHROMOPHOBIA with Kristen Scott Thomas and Penelope Cruz. CHROMOPHOBIA world premiered as the closing-night film at the 2005 Cannes International Film Festival. Fiennes voice was also featured in the animated feature, WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE RABBIT. In the film, Fiennes is the voice of Lord Victor Quartermaine as Wallace and Gromit set out to discover the mystery behind the garden sabotage that plagues their village.
That same year, Fiennes starred in THE CONSTANT GARDENER opposite Rachel Weisz and Danny Huston. Directed by Fernando Meirelles' Fiennes played Kenya-based English diplomat Justin Quayle, a man whose wife is murdered along with the man with whom she is suspected of having an affair. Fiennes received a London Critics Circle award for Best British Actor and a British Independent Film award for Best Actor for this role.
Fiennes also starred in the final Merchant-Ivory film, THE WHITE COUNTESS, opposite Natasha Richardson. Set in 1930's Shanghai, Fiennes played Todd Jackson, a blind American diplomat who develops a relationship with a young Russian refugee who works illicit jobs to support members of her family. Finally that year, Fiennes played the pivotal role of the dreaded Lord Voldemort in HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE, the fourth installment of the blockbuster series.
In April of 2006, Fiennes reunited with director Jonathan Kent to star on stage in Brian Friel's Tony Award nominated play "Faith Healer," which originally premiered at Dublin's Gate Theatre. During its limited run at the Gate Theatre, for the first time in the theatre's history, tickets sold out before previews began. Fiennes starred opposite Cherry Jones and Ian McDiarmid to rave reviews. "Faith Healer" told the moving tale of a dissolute, charismatic Frank Hardy (Fiennes), his long-time lover (Jones) and his devoted manager (McDiarmid) as they traveled the back roads of Scotland and Wales peddling miracles. Fiennes and the play received Tony nominations.
In July 2007, Fiennes reprised his role as Lord Voldemort in HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, the fifth installment of the Harry Potter series.
This past February, Fiennes starred in the critically acclaimed film BERNARD AND DORIS, opposite Susan Sarandon and directed by Bob Balaban. The film is loosely based on tobacco heiress Doris Duke and her relationship with her shy, alcoholic butler, Bernard Lafferty. Fiennes and the film are nominated for Golden Globe awards this year. That same month, Fiennes starred in the film IN BRUGES, opposite Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. IN BRUGES follows two hit men who are forced to spend time in Bruges, Belgium after a job gone bad. Directed by Martin McDonagh, IN BRUGES premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
In April, Fiennes starred in a production of Yasmina Reza's "God of Carnage" at London's Gielgud Theatre. "God of Carnage," which opened to rave reviews, follows what happens when two sets of parents meet up to deal with the unruly behavior of their children.
Fiennes recently starred in Samuel Beckett's one-man show, "First Love," which premiered at New York's Lincoln Center Festival presented by the Gate Theatre in Dublin. Directed by Michael Colgan, "First Love" tells the tale of a man who finds refuge on a bench by a canal after being thrown out of his house when his father dies. Fiennes previously performed "First Love" at the Sydney Festival in 2007.
This October, Fiennes reunites with director Jonathan Kent to star opposite theatre legend, Clare Higgins, as the title role in "Oedipus Rex," which will be staged at the National Theatre in London. The play begins previews on October 8th and opens on October 15th.
Fiennes was recently seen in THE DUCHESS opposite Keira Knightley. Directed by Saul Dibb, the film revolves around the 18th century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and her complicated marriage, extravagant political views and unconventional life.
Fiennes was introduced to UNICEF in 1999 and became an avid supporter of the organization for many years before becoming an ambassador in 2001. He has travelled to multiple countries on their behalf. UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
Fiennes currently resides in London, England.
DAVID KROSS / Michael Berg, 1950s-1960s
David Kross was born in 1990 in a little town near Hamburg. Already at age 12, he acted in Oliver Dommengets made for television movie HILFE ICH BIN EIN JUNGE, followed by some small roles in other made for television movies. German director, Detlev Buck, discovered Kross for his Berlin movie KNALLHART. After a long search and several castings, Buck chose him for the leading role of Michael Polischka. The movie won several prizes, among them three Lolas, the German film prize and the Fipresci Prize (from international film critics) in the Panorama section of the International Film Festival Berlin in 2006.
This fall he can be seen in German cinemas in the leading role of KRABAT by Marco Kreuzpaintner, a historical adaptation of Otfried Preuslers' "Krabat," a famous and important youth book, which was also an international bestseller. Kross played alongside famous German actors Daniel Bruhl and Robert Stadlober.
LENA OLIN / Ilana Mather / Rose Mather
Lena Olin, an Academy AwardR nominee, has become a favorite of audiences and critics a like with her remarkable beauty and talent. On the small screen, she was recently seen on the critically acclaimed and highly rated ABC series, ALIAS, opposite Jennifer Garner and Victor Garber.
Olin was last seen in AWAKE opposite Hayden Christensen and Jessica Alba. Before that, she starred in Lasse Hallstrom's feature film CASANOVA with Heath Ledger and Sienna Miller, as well as in director Ron Shelton's HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE opposite Harrison Ford. In addition, Lena joined an ensemble cast that includes Don Cheadle and Kevin Spacey in THE UNITED STATES OF LELAND.
Olin made her American film debut in 1988's THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING, opposite Daniel Day Lewis, directed by Philip Kaufman. She went on to star opposite Ron Silver and Anjelica Houston in ENEMIES: A LOVE STORY, for which she received a New York Film Critics Award for Best Actress as well as an Academy AwardR nomination. Olin also starred opposite Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche in Lasse Hallstrom's CHOCOLAT. Additional film credits include Roman Polanski's THE NINTH GATE with Johnny Depp; POLISH WEDDING opposite Gary Oldman; Sidney Lumet's NIGHT AND THE MOMENT opposite Willem Dafoe; HAVANA opposite Robert Redford; MR. JONES opposite Richard Gere; and Ingmar Bergman's FANNY AND ALEXANDER. In 1998, Lena Olin was honored to serve as a judge at the Cannes Film Festival.
Olin was born in Sweden, where she has been with the Royal Dramatic Theatre since the age of 20. It was there that she met the legendary Ingmar Bergman who went on to direct her in several theatre projects, including "King Lear, " After the Rehearsal" and "Miss Julie." Additional stage credits include "The Alchemist, " Paradisbarnen, " Juno and the Paycock, " Gross Und Klein, " Servitore Di Due Padrone, " Restoration, " Nattvarden, " Summer, " A Dream Play" and "The Master and Margarita."
BRUNO GANZ / Professor Rohl
One of Germany's best-known actors, Ganz began his acting career in the theatre in the 1960s. He quickly moved into films, starring in both European and English language productions. Ganz has won many awards, beginning with the German Gold Award for Outstanding Achievement.
For his performance as Adolf Hitler in the Academy Award nominated DOWNFALL, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, Ganz won numerous international awards including the London Films Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and the Santa Barbara Special Jury Award. In 2000 he appeared in a leading role in Silvio
Soldini's comedy, PANE ET TULIPANE, which won nine Donatello Awards, including Best Actor for Ganz. He also received the Best Actor Award at the Pulo Film Festival and the Swiss Film Prize.
Recent starring roles include Francis Ford Coppola's YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH and THE DUST OF TIME, directed by Theodoros Angelopoulos and co-starring Willem Dafoe and Harvey Keitel.
ALEXANDRA MARIA LARA / Ilana Mather
Alexandra Maria Lara is a Romanian born, German trained actress who is the daughter of Valentin Platareanu, a one-time leading screen and stage actor in Romania. Even from a young age, Lara was fascinated with acting, always accompanying her father to the cinema, theater, and acting classes. In 1983, a family move to Germany led her to Berlin's French Lycee where she joined the drama group. Lara showed talent and maturity beyond her age, and as a teenager she was already playing supporting and lead roles in various television dramas: MENSCH, PIA!, DER TUNNEL and BUBI-SCHOLZ-STORY.
In 1997, Lara enrolled in Theaterwerkstatt Charlottenburg, a drama school in Berlin, which was co-founded by her father. There she further refined her natural talent while also continuing to pursue work in German television and film. Her first film role came in 1999 in FISIMATENTEN NEXT TO MAXIMILIAN SCHELL. More roles in German films soon followed: CRAZY and NAKED which was in competition at the 2002 Venice Film Festival.
Fluent in Romanian, French, German, and English, Lara soon began to take roles in international productions. The first came in 2001 when she played the Countess Marie Walewska in NAPOLEON, co-starring with Christian Clavier, Gerard Depardieu and Isabella Rosselini. Then in 2002, she worked alongside Sam Neill and Keira Knightley in DOCTOR ZHIVAGO.
Lara's blend of innocence and fresh-faced talent landed her the role of Traudl Junge, Hitler's secretary in the Oscar Nominated film THE DOWNFALL. Playing opposite Bruno Ganz and a cast full of other notable actors, Lara showed the world she belonged among their ranks. Her emotive eyes and natural beauty served as a necessary contrast to the film's horrors and gave the film an unexpected layer of human detail. For her performance, Lara was honored with the Golden Camera Actress of the Year 2004 and a Bambi Award 2005. After the success of DOWNFALL, Lara worked on two celebrated German films: VOM SUCHEN UND FINDEN DER LIEBE by Helmut Dietl and DER FSCHER UND SEINE FRAU by Doris Dorrie.
In addition to Coppola's YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH, Lara continues to explore opportunities in international film productions: Oliver Parker's I HATE MY JOB, Anton Corbijn's CONTROL, James Ivory's THE CITY OF YOUR FINAL DESTINATION, Spike Lee's MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA, and FAREWELL while also remaining loyal to German Cinema with DER BAADER MEINHOF KOMPLEX (2007) and KAIFECK MURDER.
In 2008 she was member of the festival jury in Cannes led by Sean Penn.
"The Reader" - About the Filmmakers
STEPHEN DALDRY / Director
Stephen Daldry's first feature film, BILLY ELLIOT, won over 40 awards worldwide and received three Oscar nominations including Best Director. His second feature, THE HOURS, also won innumerable international awards and received nine Oscar and eleven BAFTA nominations. Daldry also produced two "Omnibus" programs for BBC2.
Daldry's stage adaptation of "Billy Elliot" recently opened to rave reviews on Broadway after successful runs in London and Melbourne.
He previously directed a number of works for the Royal Court Theatre, including: "A Number by Caryl Churchill"; "Far Away by Caryl Churchill" (also at the Albery Theatre and New York Theatre Workshop); "Via Dolorosa by David Hare" (also at the Duchess Theatre and on Broadway); "Rat in the Skull" by Ron Hutchinson (Royal Court Classic Season); "Body Talk"; "The Kitchen" by Arnold Wesker; "The Editing Process" by Meredith Oakes; and "Search and Destroy" by Howard Korder.
For the National Theatre, Daldry directed "An Inspector Calls" (also West End, Broadway and worldwide) and "Machinal." For the Gate Theatre he directed "Damned for Despair"; "The Fleisser Plays" (with Annie Castledine); and "Figaro Gets Divorced."
Daldry directed many productions at Sheffield Crucible Theatre, where he started his career under the late Clare Venables. He followed with productions at the Manchester Library Theatre, the Liverpool Playhouse, the Stratford East, the Oxford Stage, and the Brighton and Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Daldry was Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre from 1992.98 where he headed the 26 million re-development; the Gate Theatre (1989.92) and the Metro Theatre Company (1984.86). He is on the Board of the Young and Old Vic Theatres and remains an Associate Director of the Royal Court. Daldry was the Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre for 2002 at St Catherine's College, Oxford. He has won many awards for his theatrical work both in the UK and the USA.
DAVID HARE / Screenwriter
David Hare is a writer and director for stage, television and film.
In 2002 he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for THE HOURS, his previous collaboration with Stephen Daldry, for which Nicole Kidman was won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Hare was also nominated for the BAFTA and Golden Globe Awards, and won the Writers Guild of America Award.
A world-renowned playwright, David Hare's first foray into film, as writer-director, was WETHERBY, winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 1985, featuring a strong central performance by Vanessa Redgrave. His second feature, PARIS BY NIGHT, starred Charlotte Rampling, and in 1989 STRAPLESS starred Blair Brown.
Hare also provided the screenplay for Louis Malle's DAMAGE, adapted from Josephine Hart's best-selling novel, starring Miranda Richardson, Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche, and has adapted his own plays for the screen: PLENTY directed by Fred Schepisi and starring Meryl Streep; THE SECRET RAPTURE directed by Howard Davies; and MY ZINC BED directed by Anthony Page and starring Uma Thurman. 18
David Hare was knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his contribution to the Arts in the 1998 Birthday Honours List.
BERNARD SCHLINK / The Reader Author
Bernhard Schlink was born in Germany in 1944. He is the author of the internationally best-selling The Reader (1995), a partly autobiographical novel about a teenager who has an affair with a woman in her thirties who suddenly vanishes but whom he meets again as a law student when visiting a trial about war crimes.
The Reader was an Oprah Book Club choice book, became a best-seller both in Germany and the United States and was translated into 40 languages. It was the first German book to reach the #1 position on The New York Times bestseller list, and has 2.1 million copies in print the US. In 1997 it won the Hans Fallada Prize, an Italian literary award, and the Prix Laure Bataillon for works translated into French. In 1999 it was awarded the "WELT-Literaturpreis" of the newspaper Die Welt.
Schlink is also the author of a collection of short fiction called Flights of Love (2000), and a novel Homecoming (2008), as well as a series of detective novels with a main character named Selb-a play on the German word for "self" (Self's Punishment, co-written with Walter Popp, Self's Murder, Self's Punishment). Two of Schlink's works have been adapted for film: THE READER and the short story, THE OTHER MAN, filmed by director Richard Eyre, starring Antonio Banderas, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, and Romola Garai.
Schlink now lives in Bonn and Berlin.
ANTHONY MINGHELLA / Producer
Anthony Minghella's film THE ENGLISH PATIENT, which he wrote and directed, won nine Academy Awards in 1996 including Best Picture and Best Director. Based on the novel by Michael Ondaatje, the film starred Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Kristin Scott Thomas and Willem Dafoe and was honored with 30 film awards overall, including two Golden Globes, six BAFTA Awards, the Writer's Guild Award for Best Screenplay and The Scripters Award for Best Director.
Minghella went on to win the 1999 Best Director Award from the National Board of Review for his film THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, based on the classic crime novel by Patricia Highsmith and starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law. In 2000, Minghella was named by American Theater owners as ShoWest's Director of the Year.
COLD MOUNTAIN (2003) starring Jude Law and Nicole Kidman adapted by Minghella from the novel by Charles Frazier received seven Oscar nominations, seven Golden Globe Nominations and eleven BAFTA nominations. Renee Zellweger won the Academy Award, the Golden Globe and the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Ruby.
Minghella's first film as a writer/director, TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY, starred Juliet Stevenson and Alan Rickman and won over audiences in Britain and America, receiving several prizes including a BAFTA and a Writer's Guild Award. Minghella also directed MR. WONDERFUL with Matt Dillon, Mary Louise Parker and William Hurt.
Anthony Minghella was born in 1954 on the Isle of Wight of Italian parents. Until 1981, he lectured on drama at the University of Hull. His stage plays are "Child's Play, " Whale Music, " A Little Like 19
Drowning, " Two Planks and A Passion, " Made in Bangkok" and "Love Bites." Minghella's television trilogy WHAT IF IT's RAINING? was acclaimed throughout Europe. He created and regularly contributed to the television series INSPECTOR MORSE, and wrote all nine of the short television films in THE STORYTELLER series for Jim Henson and NBC, which won an Emmy and BAFTA Award as well as the Gold Medal at the New York International Film and Television Festival. Minghella's radio plays include "Hang Up" and "Cigarettes and Chocolate."
Minghella was awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Hull and the University of Southampton. In 2000, he partnered with Sydney Pollack as joint-owner of Mirage Enterprises serving as executive producer on the company's films THE INTERPRETER, THE QUIET AMERICAN, IRIS, MARGARET and MICHAEL CLAYTON. He directed and produced THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY which debuted on HBO and BBC in March of 2008. Minghella was also the head of the British Film Institute.
Minghella passed away on March 18, 2008 at 54 years old.
SYDNEY POLLACK / Producer
Sydney Pollack directed 20 films, which received a total of 46 Academy Award nominations. Pollack himself was nominated three times, winning the Best Director Oscar for OUT OF AFRICA, which won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Pollack won the 1982 New York Film Critics Award for his film TOOTSIE. He won the Golden Globe for Best Director twice, as well as the National Society of Film Critics Award, the NATO Director of the Year Award, and prizes at the Brussels, Belgrade, San Sebastian, Moscow and Taormina Film Festivals. He was presented the Directors Guild of America John Huston Award by the Artists Rights' Foundation in 2000.
Pollack was also an accomplished actor and appeared in Woody Allen's HUSBANDS AND WIVES, Robert Altman's THE PLAYER, Robert Zemeckis' DEATH BECOMES HER, Steven Zaillian's A CIVIL ACTION, Stanley Kubrick's EYES WIDE SHUT, Roger Michell's CHANGING LANES and Tony Gilroy's MICHAEL CLAYTON for which he also served as Executive Producer.
In 1985, Pollack formed Mirage Productions (in 2000, Anthony Minghella became a partner in Mirage Enterprises). Under that banner, he produced films including PRESUMED INNOCENT, THE FABULOUS BAKER BOYS, WHITE PALACE, MAJOR LEAGUE, DEAD AGAIN, SEARCHING FOR BOBBY FISHER, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY and THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY. Under that banner he served as executive producer on the company's films THE INTERPRETER, THE QUIET AMERICAN, IRIS, HEAVEN, CATCH A FIRE and THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY.
Pollack was a founding member of the Sundance Institute, the Chairman Emeritus of the American Cinematheque, a sustaining founder of the Artists' Rights Board of the Director's Guild and on the Board of Directors for the Film Preservation Board and the Motion Picture and Television Fund Foundation.
Pollack passed away on May 26, 2008 following a long battle with cancer. Pollack was 73 years old.
DONNA GIGLIOTTI / Producer
Donna Gigliotti has been awarded the motion picture industry's highest honors for her achievements as a film producer and studio production executive both internationally and in the United States. She is one of only five women producers ever to win a Best Picture Academy Award in seventy-nine years of Oscar history.
The recognition Gigliotti has received for her work in film from outside the United States is longstanding, dating as far back as 1985 when Gigliotti became the youngest woman knighted to the rank of Chevalier des Arts et Letters by the French Republic.
In 1998 her peers in the film industry voted for her to receive the Academy Award for producing SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE. The film was awarded six additional Oscars, including Best Actress (Gwyneth Paltrow), Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench) and Best Original Screenplay (Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman). The Hollywood Foreign Press Association awarded her the 1999 Golden Globe/Best Picture/Comedy and the members of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts bestowed on her the 2000 British Academy Award (BAFTA) for having produced the film.
During Gigliotti's career she has worked as both a studio executive and a film producer. Following SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, Barry Diller hired Gigliotti as President of Production at USA Films, the feature film division of Diller's USA Entertainment Group. During her tenure at USA, she was responsible for and oversaw the production of Robert Altman's GOSFORD PARK, winner of Best Original Screenplay Academy Award in 2002, and Steven Soderbergh's TRAFFIC, winner of Best Director, Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay Academy Awards in 2001.
Gigliotti's producing credits include TWO LOVERS, starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Joaquin Phoenix, which premiered in the 2008 competition section of the Cannes Film Festival and will be released in February 2009. THE GOOD NIGHT, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Penelope Cruz, Danny DeVito and Simon Pegg, had its world premiere at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Additional productions include VANITY FAIR, directed by Mira Nair and starring Reese Witherspoon.
Gigliotti started her career in the motion picture industry as assistant to Martin Scorsese on his film RAGING BULL. She credits Scorsese with teaching her everything she knows about the creative aspects of great story telling.
Gigliotti's studio career continued at United Artists as the director of acquisitions for their specialty division, UA Classics. There she identified and acquired groundbreaking films that are now considered classics by critics and audiences alike. Among them are Francois Truffaut's THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR, Jean Jacques Beniex's DIVA and Rainer Werner Fassbinder's VERONICA VOSS.
Gigliotti also served as Executive Vice President at Miramax Films where her films included Doug McGrath's EMMA, Michael Hoffman's RESTORATION and Franco Zefferelli's JANE EYRE.
Prior to Miramax, Gigliotti founded Orion Classics in 1982 for Arthur Krim, former Chairman of United Artists and then Chairman of Orion Pictures Corporation. Orion Classics, a division of Orion Pictures, was the model for later specialized film distribution companies such as Fox Searchlight, Sony's Screen Gems and Warner Independent.
Orion Classics proved to be the pre-eminent distributor of specialized films in the United States during the 1980's. Gigliotti was responsible for acquiring films by well known world class filmmakers such as Akira Kurosawa's RAN and Louis Malle's AU REVOIR LES ENFANTS. She was also instrumental in launching young emerging directors and their films, including Pedro Almodovar's WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, Steven Frears' MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE, John Sayles's LIANNA, Claude Berri's JEAN DE FLORETTE and Gabriel Axel's Oscar winning BABETTE's FEAST.
Currently, Gigliotti has returned to independent production through her company, Tempesta Films. She recently completed production on SHANGHAI, starring John Cusack, Chow Yun-Fat and Gong Li. 21
She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College.
REDMOND MORRIS / Producer
Redmond Morris began his career in Ireland. His interest in film had been fuelled by a family connection with director John Ford. Upon moving to London he worked as location manager on films such as John Schlesinger's YANKS, Michael Apted's AGATHA and Warren Beatty's REDS.
Morris' credits include production manager for GORKY PARK, associate producer for the Bill Douglas film COMRADES and then he worked with Norma Heyman on the Phil Collins film BUSTER.
SCANDAL marked the beginning of his collaboration with Stephen Woolley and Palace Pictures, a film distributed by Harvey and Bob Weinstein.
Returning to Ireland, Redmond began an association with Neil Jordan in which he produced THE MIRACLE. Having been associate producer on Vincent Ward's film MAP OF THE HUMAN HEART, he worked with Jordan as assistant director on THE CRYING GAME, another Weinstein release.
Morris produced the Eric Idle film, SPLITTING HEIRS. He followed by co-producing INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, MICHAEL COLLINS and IN DREAMS. He was also a producer of THE BUTCHER BOY, all of which were directed by Neil Jordan.
Next Morris worked on THE AFFAIR OF THE NECKLACE, directed by Charles Shyer, and Conor McPherson's THE ACTORS.
He was Executive Producer on the Robert Towne directed ASK THE DUST, starring Colin Farrell in South Africa and Co-Produced the Ken Loach Cannes Palme d'Or winner THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY. NOTES ON A SCANDAL, produced by Scott Rudin and Robert Fox, followed.
Prior to his work on THE READER, Redmond worked with Stephen Daldry and Scott Rudin on the postponed project THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY.
CHRIS MENGES / Director of Photography
Chris Menges is British and lives in Wales. He is a member of the British Society of Cinematographers. His past works include: YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF, STOP LOSS, NOTES ON A SCANDAL, NORTH COUNTRY, TICKETS, CRIMINAL, THE GOOD THIEF, THE PLEDGE, THE BOXER, MICHAEL COLLINS, SHY PEOPLE, MARIE and KES.
Menges has been honored for his work throughout his career. He was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and the Golden Frog, Camerimage 2005 for his work on Tommy Lee Jones' THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA. He received the Best European Cinematographer award for DIRTY PRETTY THINGS. He won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography on Roland Joffe's THE MISSION and THE KILLING FIELDS. Menges was also awarded BAFTA's Award for Best Cinematography for THE KILLING FIELDS. Other awards include the Evening Standard Award for Best Technical Achievement on both LOCAL HERO and ANGEL.
ROGER DEAKINS, ASC, BSC / Director of Photography
Roger Deakins was born in Torquay, Devon, England. He attended an art college and the National Film School. He began his career in documentaries, shooting many in Africa. Deakins covered the Whitbread Round the World Yacht race that required him to work for more than 9 months as a crewmember while filming a documentary.
Deakins then went on to feature cinematography, starting in England and then later shooting in the United States. Roger's credits include: DOUBT, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH, JARHEAD, THE VILLAGE, THE LADY KILLERS, THE HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG, INTOLERABLE CRUELTY, LEVITY, A BEAUTIFUL MIND, DINNER WITH FRIENDS, ANYWHERE BUT HERE, THE HURRICANE, THE SIEGE, THE BIG LEBOWSKI, COURAGE UNDER FIRE, DEAD MAN WALKING, THE HUDSUCKER PROXY, THE SECRET GARDEN, PASSION FISH, THUNDERHEART, BARTON FINK, HOMICIDE, THE LONG WALK HOME, AIR AMERICA, MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON, PASCALI's ISLAND, STORMY MONDAY, THE KITCHEN TOTO, PERSONAL SERVICES, WHITE MISCHIEF, SID AND NANCY, DEFENSE OF THE REALM, THE INNOCENT, RETURN TO WATERLOO, SHADEY, NINTEEN EIGHTY-FOUR, THE HOUSE, ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER PLACE and BLUE SUEDE SHOES.
Roger has been nominated for seven Academy Award's for his work on THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, FARGO, KUNDUN, O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?, THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE, THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD, and 2007's NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.
He has been nominated for a BAFTA award four times, twice winning Best Cinematography for his work on THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. Roger has also received a total of seven nominations for the ASC's Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Theatrical Releases, two of which earned him a win: FARGO and THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE. He has won three of the four times he was nominated for BSC's Best Cinematography award. In addition, Roger was honored in 2007 with NBR's Career Achievement in Cinematography award. He has also been nominated twice and won once at the Independent Spirit awards for his work as cinematographer on FARGO.
Roger lives with his wife in Santa Monica, returning to England (and the fishing!) as frequently as possible.
"The Reader" - 5 Academy Award Nominations
Mirage Enterprises and Neunte Babelsberg Film GmbH Production (The Weinstein Company)
- Kate Winslet - Best Performance by an actress in a leading role
- Best Cinematography
- Best Directing
- Best picture
- Best Adapted screenplay
Best Picture Oscar Nomination "The Reader" - 81st Academy Awards Oscar Nominations
- Slumdog Millionaire Leads the Way
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- Frost / Nixon
- The Reader
- Slumdog Millionaire
Best Animated Feature
- Anne Hathaway in "Rachel Getting Married"
- Angelina Jolie in "Changeling"
- Melissa Leo in "Frozen River"
- Meryl Streep in "Doubt"
- Kate Winslet in "The Reader"
2009 Best Actor
- Richard Jenkins in "The Visitor"
- Frank Langella in "Frost/Nixon"
- Sean Penn in "Milk"
- Brad Pitt in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
- Mickey Rourke in "The Wrestler"
Best Supporting Actress
- Amy Adams in "Doubt"
- Penelope Cruz in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
- Viola Davis in "Doubt"
- Taraji P. Henson in "Benjamin Button"
- Marisa Tomei in "The Wrestler"
Best Supporting Actor
- Josh Brolin in "Milk"
- Robert Downey Jr. in "Tropic Thunder"
- Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Doubt"
- Heath Ledger in "The Dark Knight"
- Michael Shannon in "Revolutionary Road"
2009 Oscar Nominated Movie Reviews
- The Class
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
- The Dark Knight
- The Duchess
- Frost / Nixon
- Happy Go Lucky
- Iron Man
- Kung Fu Panda
- Rachel Getting Married<
- The Reader
- Revolutionary Road
- Slumdog Millionaire
- Tropic Thunder
- Waltz With Bashir
- The Wrestler