Kate Winslet's elusive Oscar finally within reach

Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:47pm EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Win or lose at Sunday's Oscar ceremony, British actress Kate Winslet will enter Academy Award history.

Winslet, 33, will either walk past her chief rival, Meryl Streep, to collect her first Oscar for her performance as a woman with a secret Nazi past in "The Reader," or share the dubious title of biggest loser for having been nominated for the coveted honor, and lost, six times.

The betting in Hollywood ahead of the February 22 ceremony for the world's top film awards is that Winslet should be getting her acceptance speech ready.

"I think it is her time. When Academy members are voting, they are going to be thinking not just of 'The Reader' but of 'Revolutionary Road,'" said Hollywood.com movie critic Pete Hammond, when talking about the two movies starring Winslet that were released within weeks of each other in 2008.

"That is pretty daunting when you have two great performances like that back to back," Hammond said.

The three other best actress nominees are Anne Hathaway as a resentful sister in "Rachel Getting Married," Melissa Leo in border smuggling drama "Frozen River" and Angelina Jolie playing a mother searching for her child in "Changeling."

Winslet, who parlayed art house success into international stardom in "Titanic" in 1997, has already picked up two Golden Globes for her role as a German woman with a teenage lover and a secret in "The Reader" and as a frustrated 1950s American housewife in "Revolutionary Road."

She has also won BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild Awards, and in emotional speeches, she has expressed shock at her wins after smiling bravely from her seat so often in the past.   Continued...

<p>Kate Winslet arrives on the red carpet for the screening of "The Reader" at the 59th Berlinale film festival in Berlin, February 6, 2009. REUTERS/Johannes Eisele</p>