the Popcorn Reel Awards Season 2009
best picture best director best actor best actress best supporting actor best supporting actress

best actress
or best supporting actress  guaranteed winner

by Omar P.L. Moore/The Popcorn Reel
December 5, 2008

Kate Winslet as Hanna Schmitz in "The Reader", one of the year's best films.  Ms. Winslet will finally win an Oscar in 2009, whether for this performance or the very layered one she gives in "Reservation Road".  (Photo: The Weinstein Company)

KATE WINSLET as Hanna Schmitz in "The Reader", or as April Wheeler in "Reservation Road"

Kate Will Win-slet All!

Take note: this is Kate Winslet's year.  Not just because she happens to be in two films at the end of a film year (films that will be released within two days or two weeks of each other), but because she excels mightily in both.  The only question will be whether Ms. Winslet receives an Oscar in February 2009 as a supporting actress or as a lead actress.  In both "Revolutionary Road" and "The Reader" she could be categorized as either, but both roles, which happen to be as characters living in the 1950's, are very well acted.  In "The Reader" (above), set in Germany over a 40-year period beginning in the late 1950's, she displays a stoicism, introversion and sensuality that are all powerful as a woman in a smoldering affair with an under-aged teenage boy who reads to her.  In "Revolutionary Road", set in 1950's America, she embodies a mix of joy, idealism, repression and overall complexity as a housewife suffering in a marriage.  Also keep in mind that Ms. Winslet is loved by the Academy.  She has been nominated six times prior, has never won, and is the youngest actress ever to be nominated at least six times for an Oscar, most recently in 2007 for "Little Children".

Conventional wisdom may be that the two performances could work against her especially if she is competing against herself in the same category (the Academy or the respective film studios will find a way to have her in different categories) but Kate Winslet will probably win as a lead actress, most likely in "Reservation Road".  There is so much turmoil going on inside the character she plays in her husband Mr. Mendes' film.  It is an amazing performance.

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