Sunday, January 18, 2009

Film Persona: Kate Winslet Part 3- Memory and Regret

After the rollercoaster ride from the loud blockbuster right down to the quiet independent films, Kate gradually eased into the role of a true leading lady. Her movies gradually become romantic and the theme of memory seems to run through them.
It is clear that she chose the more challenging road, but it is clear, especially from the next few movies that Kate makes, that she fully understand the consequences of her action…and she does not seem to regret a single one.

Iris (2001)
She plays Irish novelist, Iris Murdoch in her early life (the older Iris is played by Dame Judi Dench).  The film deals with the novelist's struggle with Alzheimer's and her relationship with John Bayley.RecentlyUpdated7_thumb2

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2003)
One of my favorite movies! Definitely top 5, based on my personal connection with it.
This movie marks a departure for Winslet, who not only takes a role in story set in modern the world of the 21st century or trying out an American accent, but she plays the zany, might-be-bi-polar girlfriend of Jim Carey. This is definitely a pleasant blip in her portfolio.  The movie is its own genre of sci-fi/romance/ drama/ comedy. The film also stars Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo and Tom Wilkinson.
The movie deals with two former lovers who have their memory erased.
Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman
Directed by Michel Gondry
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Finding Neverland (2004)
Set in Edwardian times, Kate plays real life Sylvia Llwelyn Davies, a widowed mother who becomes J.M. Barrie's platonic love interest.  Barrie loves spending time with Sylvia's sons and is inspired to write Peter Pan in the process. Yet there is trouble, of course, when society frowns upon their relationship and Sylvia's health deteriorates.
This film, for me, is significant because Kate plays a mother.  Her main concern is not only about romantic endeavors, but her children (Kate has two children by this time). This is the point where Kate's film persona shifts into that oh-so-juicy and complicated realm of wife and motherhood.
Directed by Marc Forster
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