Jewish Scholars Urge Oscars To Shut Out “The Reader”


Less than a week before the Oscars, Kate Winslet is the odds-on favourite to win the Best Actress award for her role in The Reader. But if a number of Jewish scholars have their way, she won’t be going home with an Oscar Sunday (making her track record 0 for 6). They’re urging Academy voters to refrain from bestowing any awards on the film, believing it paints too sympathetic a portrayal of Nazis, including Winslet’s character—a concentration-camp guard who’s being tried for her crimes against humanity.

Mark Weitzman, head of New York’s Simon Wiesenthal centre explained his opposition to giving Winslet an award for her role to the New York Post. “Essentially, it takes a woman who serves in, is responsible for, is complicit in, you pick the words, in the deaths of at least 300 Jews – and her big secret shame is that she’s illiterate,” he said.

Similarly, last week, historian Ron Rosenbaum discouraged the Academy from awarding the film, writing, “I would be certain to call ‘The Reader’ ‘The Worst Holocaust Film Ever Made.’ “

Yet another reason Winslet’s Best Actress nomination should’ve been for her role in Revolutionary Road.