Stephen Daldry, ‘The Reader’

Helmer moves from legit battlefield to film front

Stephen Daldry has parlayed his Brit legit roots into a filmmaking career much like a prized West Point cadet might have been cherry-picked for the theater of war.

His crowdpleasing feature debut, “Billy Elliot” (2000), snagged three Oscar noms — including director — spawned a live musical and more or less established the template for the indie Cinderella story. The helmer’s sophomore campaign, the Virginia Woolf triptych “The Hours” (2002), solidified Daldry’s gift for the thoughtful literary adaptation from the get-go, resulting in nine Oscar noms, with Nicole Kidman earning her first Oscar stripes.

With that pedigree, it’s almost inevitable that Daldry’s war/postwar Germany-set drama “The Reader,” penned by “The Hours” scribe David Hare and toplining Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes, will place him in a prime position in the kudo battlefield once again.

Trophies: None

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