First we have Valkyrie, Tom Cruise's film about the failed attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler during World War II. After initial problems, the movie got their access to Benderblock, a memorial for the executed conspirators. Now another film is getting the big, black X, but I don't think the powers that be can be swayed this time around. Variety reports that The Reader, the erotic love story starring Nicole Kidman and Ralph Fiennes, has been denied access to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. The site only allows documentary filmmakers and Horst Seferens, spokesman for the curators, says: "Former concentration camp sites are cemeteries -- it's just not appropriate to use them as film sets."

That's pretty much a solid reason right there, but I wonder if the film's theme isn't helping things? The movie is based on the book by Bernhard Schlink, about a man recalling his experiences during World War II, his sexy experiences, that is. As a 15-year-old boy, Michael Berg learns the ways of sex from a 36-year-old woman, Hanna Schmitz, who happens to be a Nazi supporter. In other words, director Stephen Daldry and his crew have no leg to stand on -- it's sex between a kid and an older, pro-Nazi lady. Sure, it deals with some interesting topics, like the struggle between caring for someone and being horrified by their actions, but it's definitely not the sort of thing that would inspire the curators of an old concentration camp to change their policies.

And as an aside: What is it with Kidman and stories about love with youngins? There aren't many like this out there (and I'm not talking about May-December things like The Graduate), so I find it curious that she's got a few of these on her roster. (Is it that ever-present Oscar drive, that Samantha Morton mentioned?) At least with a kid at 15, back in a time when young men looked much older, they can cast someone a little older, which would make it less jarring. The film is starting up this week, so maybe we'll find out who plays the young Berg soon.
categories Movies, Cinematical