Kate Winslet finds delight in "Carnage"

Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:03am EST
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By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - When Roman calls, Kate goes to work. Holidays can wait.

That's Roman, as in Polanski, and, Kate as in Winslet, whose new film "Carnage," a satirical comedy of manners that skewers overbearing parents, opens on Friday, one day after earning Winslet a Golden Globe nomination for acting.

"I had planned not to work," Winslet told Reuters in a telephone interview. "But that notion just went right out the window the second I heard the name Roman Polanski.

"One doesn't think of oneself as being ever sort of Roman Polanski-worthy," said Winslet about the director of such classics as "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby." "So you'd have to be kind of stupid, really, not to change your plans."

"Carnage," which also co-stars Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz, is based on Yasmina Reza's biting Broadway satire of two sets of parents who meet one afternoon to discuss their sons' playground fracas.

Set smack in the middle of smug self-righteousness that is one of the hallmarks of upscale Brooklyn neighborhoods, the film chronicles in real time the couples' downward spiral as polite overtures give way to Scotch-and-cobbler-fueled invective -- a sort of "Virginia Woolf lite."

"What's so brilliant is that Yasmina was able to make this scenario funny, because if it wasn't funny, it really wouldn't be a very pleasant film to watch," Winslet said.

"She lets us laugh with them, and at them, but more importantly, at them," she said of the four characters -- a liberal writer (Foster), her plumbing fixtures salesman husband (Reilly), a shady lawyer (Waltz) and an investment broker (Winslet) -- who are all in virtually every scene.   Continued...