Area Art HousesThree years ago, while playing herself on Ricky Gervais’ Extras, Kate Winslet mused about how she was doing a Holocaust drama only to finally win an Oscar. “How many more movies do we need about the Holocaust?” she wondered. “I mean, we get it, it was grim.” Obviously, the scene was satirical, but it makes it all the funnier that Winslet is considered an Oscar contender for the Holocaust-themed The Reader, which arrives in a year with a half-dozen other Holocaust-related movies, including Defiance, Valkyrie and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
Still, The Reader is a unique entry into this genre of filmmaking, as its focus is less on the Holocaust itself than on the subsequent generations struggling to understand the actions of their forefathers, and their own feelings of guilt (our review appeared last week and online at www.indyweek.com).
Winslet is also considered an Oscar contender for Revolutionary Road, which comes out later this month, and I have to admit I preferred her explosive, pained work in the John Cassavetes-style adaptation of Richard Yates’ novel to her implosive, pained work in The Reader. But she’s good in both films, and joking aside, she deserves some sort of award for her efforts. Zack Smith