Archive for February 10th, 2009

February 10, 2009



Photo: Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum for The New York Times

“Winslet’s apparently universal appeal isn’t unique, but it is mysterious. After all, everybody loves Tom Hanks and Will Smith, too, but that’s by design — those guys want us to love them. Everything they do, on-screen and off, cements their reputations as likable everymen, latter-day Jimmy Stewarts. They play war heroes and superheroes and selfless dads and little boys trapped in the bodies of grown men. Winslet, on the other hand, gravitates toward troubling roles in smaller films — a teenage murderer (“Heavenly Creatures”), a prickly novelist who succumbs to Alzheimer’s (“Iris”), the Marquis de Sade’s chambermaid (“Quills”). If we love Hanks and Smith because of the characters they play, we love Winslet in spite of them. Some of her choices may be dictated by necessity — there aren’t a whole lot of heroic parts available to women in Hollywood — but it’s hard to ignore a certain perverse streak in her decision making. Who else would have followed a breakout role in America’s biggest blockbuster ever with a starring turn in a tiny film called “Hideous Kinky”?” (Tom Perrotta, for The NY Times magazine).

I warn those of you who haven’t yet seen Rev. Road to not read the entire text on the link above. It might contain spoilers.