Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet is one of the greatest actresses Britain has ever produced.  While for some she will always be Rose DeWitt in Titanic, she has never rested on her laurels and has constantly picked interesting and challenging roles.

February sees her appear in Roman Polanski’s latest film Carnage. Based on the play God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza, it’s a savage, hilarious comedy about two couples who are drawn together when their respective sons get into a fight - and end up squabbling more than the kids!

Winslet is excellent (as is the rest of the all-star cast), and received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Carnage, giving us the perfect opportunity to look at some of the greatest performances of her career.

- Heavenly Creatures

Between making splatter comedies in his native New Zealand and changing the history of cinema with Lord Of The Rings, Peter Jackson picked Winslet from obscurity to star in this true live tale of two teenage girls who turned to murder.

The film received international attention, with Winslet’s downright creepy performance drawing considerable acclaim.

- Titanic

Does it really need an introduction? Winslet starred in James Cameron’s mega-budget romantic epic as the unhappy rich girl who finds love on the doomed vessel with Leonardo Di Caprio’s penniless drifter.

The film catapulted both Kate and Leo into the A-list and was remains the most successful film of all time, until Cameron’s own Avatar over-took it two years ago.

- Hideous Kinky

Following the astronomical success of Titanic, Winslet could have gone Hollywood and commanded massive salaries. Instead, she chose to keep her integrity and appear in films worthy of her talent.

Her first post-Titanic appearance was in this under-rated book adaptation, where she played a young mother taking her two daughters to Morocco

- Iris

Winslet picked up her third Oscar nomination in this powerful biography of British novelist Iris Murdoch. She took the role of the titular author in Oxford University days,  being romanced by future husband John Bayley (Hugh Bonneville), which was interplayed with the couple’s last days facing up to Iris’ Alzheimer’s.

The elder Iris was played by none other than Dame Judi Dench herself, and the role could even be seen as the passing of the acting torch to Winslet.

- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Music video director Michel Gondry’s mind-bending movie is best known as being the film that proved Jim Carey could do serious roles.

But to only remember it as that would be to ignore Winslet’s brilliant performance as the girl who broke Carey’s heart so bad that he has to resort to dangerous experimental treatments. Plus she totally pulls off the blue hair.

- Finding Neverland

Another real life role for Winslet - this time it was the story of Peter Pan creator JM Barrie, played to perfection by Johnny Depp, whose platonic relationship with single mother Kate and her children provides the inspiration for the classic story.

Many have suggested there was a seedier side to Barrie in real life, but the movie wisely ignores this and instead creates a wonderful fable about the power of childhood imagination.

- Revolutionary Road

Kate re-teamed with Leonardo DiCaprio - and then-husband director Sam Mendes - for this powerful tale of a marriage falling apart in the mid-fifties.

It’s a beautiful, yet depressing tale - and also provides an interesting insight into what might had happened had the Titanic not sunk and Kate and Leo had made a life together.

- The Reader

Kate finally bagged an Oscar in this adaptation of Bernhard Schlink’s novel of the same name. Played against the backdrop of a war crimes trial, Winslet plays a woman accused of having a Nazi past.

There’s a lot more going on underneath the surface, and to say more would ruin the film, but needless to say, with this and Revolutionary Road 2008 was a great year for Kate Winslet.

- Carnage

Based on Yasmina Reza’s internationally acclaimed play, Roman Polanski’s new film sees Winslet star alongside fellow Oscar winners Christoph Waltz and Jodie Foster, and Oscar nominee John C Reilly.

Following a playground scuffle between their 11-year old children, the parents of the 'victim' have invited the parents of the 'bully' to their apartment to sort it out. 

Cordial banter gradually develops a razor-sharp edge as all four of the well-heeled American parents reveal their laughable contradictions and grotesque prejudices.  None of them will escape the ensuing carnage in this hilarious new comedy.

Carnage is in cinemas 3 February