Film won't get a 'Read' in China

Director willing to edit film but said wide release unlikely

SHANGHAI -- The British director of "The Reader" said Sunday there are no plans to release the sexually explicit romance nationwide in China because the country doesn't have a ratings system that allows the government to restrict the movie to certain age groups.

But Stephen Daldry said he'd consider editing the film for a China release.

The drama about the love affair between a German teenager and a former Nazi prison guard played by Kate Winslet is currently showing as part of the 12th Shanghai International Film Festival, but Daldry said the movie won't be shown elsewhere.

In China, films need to be edited for all ages. Chinese censors would likely demand cutting scenes from "The Reader" -- which features full frontal nudity -- before clearing it for release.

Daldry, however, said in an interview that he would consider editing the film for Chinese audiences.

"It depends on how much they would want to take out," Daldry said. "I don't know the ratings system."

"The Reader" has already made nearly $90 million worldwide, so the loss of the Chinese market does not hurt its financial backers.

Daldry, who started out as a theater director, has a short film resume, but two of his films have already gone on to win best actress Oscars for their leading ladies. Nicole Kidman won for the 2002 drama "The Hours" and Winslet won for "The Reader" this past February.

At a press conference earlier Sunday, the British filmmaker refused to take credit for the Oscar wins, saying it was merely good timing that both actresses had achieved artistic heights on his productions.

Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution," which featured extended sex scenes between stars Tang Wei and Tony Leung Chiu-wai, was edited and received a full release in China in 2007.

-- Steven Schwankert in Beijing contributed to this article.
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