I don't know if it's different in the film, but I read The Reader a few months ago, and the person on trial is not innocent. Is it different?
Yes , it is indeed based on the Bernhard Schlink's book. I remember being riveted by it, wishing I could understand German so that I might get even more of a treat and see if it could top Carol Brown Janeway's translation.The themes of betrayal and morality are beautifully played out and hugely satisfying. It's a text that relies very much on literary devices and the readers willingness to engage with them. It would be difficult to transfer it to other mediums. It fails badly in this film version. Leaving aside the cod German accents the production is doomed by particularly idiotic portrayals by the 'stars' Winslett and Fiennes. Fair dues to Kate W. for bareing all , showing a real middle aged body . However she just does not convince as a person fighting inner demons etc. Fiennes is just plain awful ,doing his one note broody bit. Technically the film is excellent. Producers Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella both died before the completion of the movie and you just have to wonder what subtle changes they could have brought to it. Nico Muhly's music is overly intrusive and annoying.
Kate Winslett's limited range should be perfect for her role in Revolutionary Road . Well , if it sticks to how ' April Wheeler' is depicted in Richard Yates' book. It doesn't get here 'til Jan.30 so I'll hold fire 'til then. I 'did' Yates' book in my book group a few months ago. Another engrossing read. A radio show here in Dublin was looking for comments and I nicked a few ideas from our discussion, threw together a few paragraphs and ended up winning a €50 book token - yah!