sense and sensibility

This witty adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel won Emma Thompson, who also stars in the film, a screenwriting Oscar®. The story of two sisters with meager dowrys who balance love, romance, and propriety in the English countryside. Thompson and Kate Winslet are perfect foils as sense and sensibility, and since it’s Austen, there are misunderstandings, humor, seeming tragedy, all wrapped up with a happy ending. Ang Lee directs. [uk/us, 1995

hideous kinky

Kate Winslet, in an obvious attempt to leave behind stuffy period dramas, stars as a 70′s hippy traipsing through Morocco, with two small daughters in tow. Her search for enlightenment and freedom takes on such rigid proportions that it’s as confining as the middle-class life she escaped in England. With one daughter pleading to go home, Winslet’s becomes even more determined in her quest to reach enlightenment. The inevitable crisis, although distressing, has a happy ending–a refreshing surprise for those of us accustomed to wayward women being punished in Hollywood films. [uk, 1998]

iris

Although at surface this is the tragic story of a stunning mind lost to the debilitation of Alzheimer’s disease, it is truly a meditation on love, commitment, and the inevitable truth that we all will grow old, ugly, and dependent. Three Oscar-nominated performances are turned in by Dame Judi Dench, Kate Winslet, and Jim Broadbent, in this love-letter to great British writer Iris Murdoch. The interplay between the fire of the young Iris, played by Winslet, and the wisdom but then incoherence of the aging Iris, played by Dench, is especially well conceived. [uk, 2001]