Stone Reader

Stone Reader ★★★★½

I don't know why so many people are down on this film. Mark Moskowitz' documentary about his search for the long-forgotten author of a book that he loved succeeds at something that I've never seen another movie even attempt. It revels in the joys of reading and makes devoted readers seem like members of an extended family. I enjoyed the meandering style of the film. Finding Dow Mossman, while being an important part of the film, was never the entire point of it. The conversations about books and authors and the long, lingering shots of shelves full of books is not the filler that some people felt it to be; it goes right to the heart of what this film is about--the love of books. There are some interesting characters in this movie, too. I liked Mark Moskowitz' style, enthusiastic but kind of goofy. I can't remember the name of the old man who was in close contact with Mossman during the writing of the book (Frank Conroy?), but he was delightful, full of good humor and the love of reading. Mossman himself was a pleasant surprise, not at all the disheveled, disturbed recluse that I had been fearing to see.

This film isn't for everyone and I suppose it could have been a bit shorter, but it's a real winner. It made me want to reach for a book right away.