Page 22 THE VILLADOM TIMES I, III & IV • January 21, 2009 Kate Winslet demonstrates versatility in varied roles by Dennis Seuling From a memorable performance as Juliet Hulme in her screen debut in 1994’s “Heavenly Creatures” through her role as young Rose DeWitt Bukater in the most profitable movie of all time, “Titanic,” Kate Winslet has shown herself to be a virtual chameleon, taking on a diversity of roles and making her characters entirely believable. Late 2008 saw the release of two Winslet films that showcase her ability to inhabit a fictional character with conviction. “The Reader” is structured in nonlinear form. Scenes jump around from 1958 to 1995 with points in between. Young Michael Berg (David Kross), suffering from the onset of scarlet fever, is discovered by Hanna Schmitz (Winslet), who looks after and comforts him. Eventually, the boy and the woman have a summer-long affair during which Hanna enjoys having Michael read aloud to her. Eight years later, as a law student attending the trial of six women accused of committing war crimes, Michael sees that Hanna is one of the defendants. The movie traces Hanna’s fate and how the grown-up Michael (Ralph Fiennes) re-enters her life, if only at a distance. Winslet does the impossible in “The Reader.” She makes a German concentration camp guard sympathetic. She was a lower-level worker following orders, yet was complicit in an act of moral reprehensibility. Winslet, done up effectively with makeup, ages 30 years during the film, but her performance relies far more on her attitude, walk, body Kate Winslet with David Kross in a scene from ‘The Reader.’ language, and what you see in her eyes than on makeup. Often, this kind of role is beset by distraction as the viewer may focus more on face putty and the makeup artist’s magical transformation than on performance. That is not the case here. Winslet captivates and commands the screen with a rare depth of performance. Although the British Winslet’s German-accented English is flawless, she is particularly effective in scenes with little or no dialogue. An almost-wordless montage showing a passage of time not only depicts economically the passing of years, it also shows subtle changes in Hanna as she evolves from middle age into old age, her straight-backed, brisk walk giving way to a stooped, slower gait, her countenance beset more and more with the depression of a woman who feels she has been forgotten by life. In “Revolutionary Road,” based on Richard Yates’ 1961 novel, the actress is reunited with her “Titanic” costar, Leonardo DiCaprio. This is a somber, dark film about 1950s suburban couple April and Frank Wheeler, who are ill at ease and dissatisfied with their so-called perfect life. Frank hates the job he commutes to five days a week. April finds her days long and empty. Both feel life is passing them by too quickly and long for something more. They decide relocating to Paris is just the thing to energize them both. April will get a high-paying job as a government agency secretary, while Frank takes time to think about what he would like to do. Their savings will see them through several months. Initially elated by their decision to uproot themselves and their two children to start a new life overseas, circumstances arise that create serious obstacles. The Wheelers are unhappy, not so much with each other, but with the feeling that their suburban life has not been the satisfying goal they expected it to be. Winslet and DiCaprio have a number of heavy-duty verbal fights that ring true, (continued on Crossword page) State Line 375 State Highway 17 North, Mahwah Open 24 Hours, 7 Days Join Us For Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner The Best Got Better! Don’t Cook Tonight! Diner - Restaurant 201-529-3353 Now Serving Cocktails, Espresso & Cappuccino $ 00 On $10.00 and over. With this coupon only. One Coupon per table. 5:00 to 9:00 pm only. Off 1 $ 00 VT On $20.00 and over. With this coupon only. One Coupon per table. 5:00 to 9:00 pm only. Off 2 VT Dine out at one of the fine restaurants advertised in The Villadom TIMES.