Best Kate Winslet Movies

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  01 Apr 2016 

One of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed actors of her generation, Kate Winslet has been in movies that have collectively grossed more than a billion dollars and she’s three-fourths of the way to an EGOT — and although this weekend’s Triple 9 won’t get her any closer to that hallowed achievement, it offers us the perfect occasion to take a fond look back at some of the brightest critical highlights in a filmography full of them.

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10 Heavenly Creatures
imdb
rating

7.4

Heavenly Creatures (1994)

Drama, Fantasy

Director Peter Jackson’s impressively violent early work might have made him a natural fit for a movie about the grisly true-life tale of two teenage girls (played by Winslet and Melanie Lynskey) whose obsessive relationship leads to a shocking act of brutality — but few of his fans could have been prepared for Heavenly Creatures, an absorbing, assured film that blended elements of drama, science fiction, and romance while drawing beautifully compelling performances from its leads. Ultimately nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar at the Academy Awards, Creatures vaulted Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh to international acclaim, jump-started Winslet’s film career, and wowed critics like David Rooney of Variety, who wrote that it “Combines original vision, a drop-dead command of the medium and a successful marriage between a dazzling, kinetic techno-show and a complex, credible portrait of the out-of-control relationship between the crime’s two schoolgirl perpetrators.”

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Based on the true story of Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, two close friends who share a love of fantasy and literature, who conspire to kill Pauline's mother when she tries to end the girls' intense and obsessive relationship.

actors:
Melanie Lynskey as Pauline Parker Rieper   Kate Winslet as Juliet Hulme   Sarah Peirse as Honorah Parker Rieper   Simon O'Connor as Herbert Rieper   Diana Kent as Hilda Hulme   Clive Merrison as Dr. Henry Hulme   Gilbert Goldie as Dr. Bennett   Jed Brophy as John  

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9 Sense and Sensibility
imdb
rating

7.7

Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Drama, Romance

Jane Austen’s books have inspired countless films, but with 1995’s Sense and Sensibility, director Ang Lee proved there was still cinematic gold yet to be spun from her stories. Working from an Oscar-winning screenplay by Emma Thompson (who also starred as the noble Elinor Dashwood), this adaptation offered a faithful representation of Austen’s 1811 novel about the financial and romantic aftershocks that reverberate through a landed British family after their patriarch passes away. Bolstered by an excellent ensemble cast that also included Winslet, Hugh Grant, and Alan Rickman, Sensibility resonated with Jeanne Aufmuth of the Palo Alto Weekly, who echoed the sentiments of the vast majority of her peers when she asked, “Enduring love, heartbreak, undying passion and bitter betrayal. What more could you ask from Jane Austen, and for that matter, from a film?”

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Rich Mr. Dashwood dies, leaving his second wife and her daughters poor by the rules of inheritance. Two daughters are the titular opposites.

actors:
Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood   Emma Thompson as Elinor Dashwood   Hugh Grant as Edward Ferrars   Tom Wilkinson as Mr. Dashwood   Alan Rickman as Col. Christopher Brandon   Imogen Stubbs as Lucy Steele   Greg Wise as John Willoughby   Hugh Laurie as Mr. Palmer   Imelda Staunton as Charlotte Jennings Palmer   Robert Hardy as Sir John Middleton   Oliver Ford Davies as Doctor Harris   James Fleet as John Dashwood   Harriet Walter as Fanny Ferrars Dashwood   Gemma Jones as Mrs. Dashwood   Emilie Francois as Margaret Dashwood   Elizabeth Spriggs as Mrs. Jennings  

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8 Jude
imdb
rating

7.0

Jude (1996)

Drama, Romance

Thomas Hardy’s novel Jude the Obscure got the big-screen treatment with this 1996 adaptation courtesy of director Michael Winterbottom, who cast Winslet and Christopher Eccleston as the tormented couple at the heart of the story. The tale of 19th-century cousins who attempt to build a life for themselves in spite of many cruel obstacles imposed by class, culture, and religion, Jude is decidedly dark stuff, with a final act that packs a gut-punch even by the standards of Victorian-era arthouse pictures. If watching it isn’t exactly easy, it was well worth the effort according to most critics — including James Berardinelli of ReelViews, who wrote, “This is a film of tremendous scope and emotional depth that uncovers the soul of a novel and brings it to life on the screen.”

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Jude is based on the novel "Jude the Obscure" by Thomas Hardy. In Victorian England, Jude Fawley (Christopher Eccleston) is a young man who dreams of a scholarly university education. Instead, he becomes a stonemason and marries a poor country girl, Arabella Donn (Rachel Griffiths). But Jude continues to pursue his dream, and after his wife's sudden departure, he moves to Christminster, a city with a prestigious University. There he meets and falls in love with his free-spirited cousin, Sue Bridehead (Kate Winslet). This is only the beginning of Jude's troubles, since he is still married to Arabella and neither he nor Sue have any money nor steady source of income.

actors:
Kate Winslet as Sue Bridehead   Christopher Eccleston as Jude Fawley  

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7 Hamlet
imdb
rating

7.8

Hamlet (1996)

Drama

Try adapting Hamlet for the screen after all these years, and you’d better bring something special to the table — and to his credit, that’s exactly what writer/director/star Kenneth Branagh did with his 1996 take on the classic Shakespeare play, leaving no dramatic stone unturned in a sprawling four-hour epic boasting the acting talents of an equally hefty cast that included Winslet, Jack Lemmon, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Richard Attenborough, Judi Dench, Charlton Heston…you get the idea. Although they’d seen it adapted countless times before, critics couldn’t help but be impressed by Branagh’s Hamlet; as James Berardinelli wrote for ReelViews, “I have seen dozens of versions of this play (either on screen or on stage), and none has ever held me in such a grip of awe.”

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Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered and his mother remarrying the murderer, his uncle. Meanwhile, war is brewing.

actors:
Kenneth Branagh as Prince Hamlet   Derek Jacobi as King Claudius   Julie Christie as Gertrude   Richard Briers as Polonius   Kate Winslet as Ophelia   Nicholas Farrell as Horatio   Michael Maloney as Laertes   Rufus Sewell as Fortinbras   Robin Williams as Osric   Gérard Depardieu as Reynaldo   Timothy Spall as Rosencrantz   Reece Dinsdale as Guildenstern   Jack Lemmon as Marcellus   Ian McElhinney as Barnardo   Ray Fearon as Francisco   Brian Blessed as Ghost of Hamlet's Father   Billy Crystal as First Gravedigger   Simon Russell Beale as Second Gravedigger   Don Warrington as Voltimand   Ravil Isyanov as Cornelius   Charlton Heston as Player King   Rosemary Harris as Player Queen   Richard Attenborough as English Ambassador   John Gielgud as Priam   Judi Dench as Hecuba   John Mills as Old King Norway   Ken Dodd as Yorick  

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6 Titanic
imdb
rating

7.7

Titanic (1997)

Action, Drama, Romance

Take one of the most infamous seafaring disasters in history and overlay it with a tragic love story between two beautiful people, and what do you have? Titanic, otherwise known as the blockbuster that sent millions of moviegoers fumbling for their Kleenex while Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio fought for their lives aboard the titular capsizing ocean liner. It wasn’t the first Titanic film — or even the first one named Titanic — but James Cameron’s iceberg-bound romance certainly struck a chord with audiences, setting sail to the tune of more than $1.8 billion in worldwide grosses. And it’s a good thing, too: at $200 million, it set a new record for the most expensive film ever made, causing many an ulcer on the Fox executive board (and ultimately earning Cameron a hefty chunk of money through his percentage of the profits). And oh by the way, while audiences were filing into the 194-minute Titanic in droves, critics were lining up to give it praise — including Newsweek’s David Ansen, who called it “big, bold, touchingly uncynical filmmaking.”

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84 years later, a 101-year-old woman named Rose DeWitt Bukater tells the story to her granddaughter Lizzy Calvert, Brock Lovett, Lewis Bodine, Bobby Buell and Anatoly Mikailavich on the Keldysh about her life set in April 10th 1912, on a ship called Titanic when young Rose boards the departing ship with the upper-class passengers and her mother, Ruth DeWitt Bukater, and her fiancé, Caledon Hockley. Meanwhile, a drifter and artist named Jack Dawson and his best friend Fabrizio De Rossi win third-class tickets to the ship in a game. And she explains the whole story from departure until the death of Titanic on its first and last voyage April 15th, 1912 at 2:20 in the morning.

actors:
Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater   Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson   Frances Fisher as Ruth Dewitt Bukater   Billy Zane as Caledon 'Cal' Hockley   Kathy Bates as Molly Brown   Gloria Stuart as Old Rose   Bill Paxton as Brock Lovett   Bernard Hill as Captain Edward James Smith   David Warner as Spicer Lovejoy   Victor Garber as Thomas Andrews   Jonathan Hyde as Bruce Ismay   Suzy Amis as Lizzy Calvert   Lewis Abernathy as Lewis Bodine   Nicholas Cascone as Bobby Buell   Danny Nucci as Fabrizio   Jason Barry as Tommy Ryan   Lew Palter as Isidor Strauss   Michael Ensign as Benjamin Guggenheim   Eric Braeden as John Jacob Astor IV   Bernard Fox as Col. Archibald Gracie   Ewan Stewart as 1st Officer Murdoch   Ioan Gruffudd as 5th Officer Harold Lowe   Jonathan Phillips as 2nd Officer Lightoller   Edward Fletcher as 6th Officer Moody   Scott G. Anderson as Frederick Fleet   Martin East as Reginald Lee   Gregory Cooke as Jack Phillips   Alexandrea Owens as Cora Cartmell   Seth Adkins as Slovakian 3 Year Old Boy   Anatoly M. Sagalevitch as Anatoly Milkailavich  

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5 Iris
imdb
rating

6.0

Iris (2011)

Drama, History, Family

Acting opportunities don’t come much meatier than Iris, a dramatization of literary critic and writer Jim Bayley’s memoirs about his life with novelist Iris Murdoch — and director Richard Eyre lined up a cast more than willing to make the most of it. Both Winslet, who stars as Murdoch as a younger woman, and Judi Dench, who portrays the author in her later years, earned Academy Award nominations for their work — as did Jim Broadbent, who played the elder Bayley. “It’s not only that Murdoch and Bayley had just that kind of kinship over the span of a 40-plus year marriage,” marveled Kenneth Turan for the Los Angeles Times. “It’s that the actors manage an identically close and intimate relationship both to each other and to the characters they play.”

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A hauntingly beautiful and unusual coming-of-age tale. Set in 1890, Iris's artist mother leaves Stockholm for the summer and sends her 9-year old daughter to stay with an uncle in the Finnish archipelago. The girl learns to play with other children and discovers the joys of friendship in the remote Åland Islands.

actors:
Magnus Krepper as Bruno   Tobias Zilliacus as Elias   Marika Parkkomäki as Jolanda   Robert Enckell as Postmästaren / Döden   Oskar Pöysti as Samuel  

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4 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
imdb
rating

8.4

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Drama, Science Fiction, Romance

It would take a special kind of heartbreak to make a person want to completely purge their memories of a former love — and it’s very much to Winslet’s credit that she managed to convincingly embody just that sort of tempestuous, bewitchingly unobtainable affection in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Starring opposite Jim Carrey, Winslet played one-half of a star-crossed couple whose agonizing ups and downs lead them to seek out a groundbreaking therapy that will rid them of their pain…and that’s when things get really weird. A mindbending, critically beloved love story as well as one of the most eye-catching films of the early aughts, Sunshine finds director Michel Gondry (working from a script by Charlie Kaufman) riddling the drama with stunning visual effects that, depending on what you want out of the movie, either deepen its metaphorical layers of meaning or are simply really cool to look at. It’s admittedly too strange and/or chilly to appeal to everyone, but at its heart, the movie lives up to Mariko McDonald of Film Threat’s assessment of it as “fresh, heartfelt and ultimately heartbreaking in its honest portrayal of a modern relationship.”

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A man, Joel Barish, heartbroken that his girlfriend Clementine underwent a procedure to erase him from her memory, decides to do the same. However, as he watches his memories of her fade away, he realizes that he still loves her, and may be too late to correct his mistake.

actors:
Jim Carrey as Joel Barish   Kate Winslet as Clementine Kruczynski   Elijah Wood as Patrick   Mark Ruffalo as Stan   Kirsten Dunst as Mary   Tom Wilkinson as Dr. Howard Mierzwiak   Ryan Whitney as Young Joel   Debbon Ayer as Joel's mother   Gerry Robert Byrne as Train Conducter   Brian Price as Young Bully   Josh Flitter as Young Bully   Paulie Litt as Young Bully   Lola Daehler as Young Clementine   Amir Ali Said as Young Bully   Deirdre O'Connell as Hollis   Lauren Adler as Rollerblader  

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3 Finding Neverland
imdb
rating

7.8

Finding Neverland (2004)

Drama, Fantasy, Family

Sticklers for accuracy bristled at the liberties it took with J.M. Barrie’s life story, but Finding Neverland was still good enough for audiences — who made it a $100 million-plus hit — and the Academy, which bestowed Johnny Depp with a Best Actor nomination for his work as the playwright and Peter Pan author. Neverland finds Barrie nursing his wounds after the failure of his most recent play, befriending a widow (Kate Winslet) and her young boys, and taking inspiration from their unorthodox friendship — even as helps cost him his own marriage and puts him at odds with the boys’ grandmother (Julie Christie). “Plenty of narrative liberties have been taken,” admitted Jason Blake of the Sydney Morning Herald, but argued that “It doesn’t matter a jot. At heart, this isn’t a biography anyway, it’s an ode to the power of the imagination.”

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Finding Neverland is an amusing drama about how the story of Peter Pan and Neverland came to be. During a writing slump play writer J.M. Barrie meets the widowed Sylvia and her three children who soon become an important part of Barrie’s life and the inspiration that lead him to create his masterpiece “Peter Pan.”

actors:
Johnny Depp as Sir James Matthew Barrie   Kate Winslet as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies   Julie Christie as Mrs. Emma du Maurier   Dustin Hoffman as Charles Frohman   Freddie Highmore as Peter Llewelyn Davies   Radha Mitchell as Mary Ansell Barrie   Kate Maberly as Wendy   Joe Prospero as Jack Llewelyn Davies   Nick Roud as George Llewelyn Davies   Luke Spill as Michael Llewelyn Davies   Ian Hart as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle   Kelly Macdonald as Peter Pan   Toby Jones as Smee  

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2 Little Children
imdb
rating

7.6

Little Children (2006)

Drama, Romance

Winslet earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her work in Little Children, a harrowing ensemble drama that explores how outside events can nudge even the most well-worn domestic orbits wobbling off their axis. With writer/director Todd Field at the helm, this adaptation of the Tom Perrotta novel looks at a suburban community whose beautiful facade masks untold conflicts — and whose carefully calibrated order is disrupted by the arrival of a registered sex offender (Jackie Earle Haley). It’s the kind of yarn that’s been spun countless times over the last few decades, but many critics still took fresh pleasure from this particular telling — including J.R. Jones, whose Chicago Reader review argued, “the characters are drawn with such compassion their follies become our own and their desires seem as vast as the night sky.”

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The lives of two lovelorn spouses from separate marriages, a registered sex offender, and a disgraced ex-police officer intersect as they struggle to resist their vulnerabilities and temptations.

actors:
Kate Winslet as Sarah Pierce   Patrick Wilson as Brad Adamson   Jennifer Connelly as Kathy Adamson   Gregg Edelman as Richard Pierce   Sadie Goldstein as Lucy Pierce   Ty Simpkins as Aaron Adamson   Noah Emmerich as Larry Hedges   Jackie Earle Haley as Ronnie J. McGorvey   Phyllis Somerville as May McGorvey   Helen Carey as Jean   Mary B. McCann as Mary Ann   Trini Alvarado as Theresa   Marsha Dietlein as Cheryl   Sarah Buxton as Slutty Kay   Chadwick Brown as Tony Correnti   Adam Mucci as Richie Murphy   Erica Berg as Richard's Secretary   Catherine Wolf as Marjorie   Raymond J. Barry as Bullhorn Bob   Chance Kelly as Pete Olaffson  

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1 Steve Jobs
imdb
rating

7.3

Steve Jobs (2015)

History, Drama

By the time Steve Jobs premiered in 2015, audiences had already seen a number of films about the Apple co-founder, both documentary (Alex Gibney’s Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, released earlier in the year) and narrative (2013’s Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher). This Steve Jobs needed something special, in other words, to overcome the familiarity of its subject; fortunately, it boasted several unique ingredients, including direction from Danny Boyle, a script from Aaron Sorkin, and a cast that included Michael Fassbender as Jobs and Winslet as Apple marketing exec Joanna Hoffman. All that talent still didn’t do much to move the needle with a moviegoing public that might have been pretty Jobsed out at that point, but it had the desired effect with critics who applauded Steve Jobs as the definitive Steve Jobs biopic. As Bob Mondello argued for NPR, “The film feels so electric while you’re watching, it’s hard to believe that after two hours, it doesn’t even get to the iPod, let alone the iPhone.”

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Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at its epicenter. Steve Jobs is directed by Academy Award® winner Danny Boyle and written by Academy Award® winner Aaron Sorkin, working from Walter Isaacson®s best-selling biography of the Apple founder. The producers are Mark Gordon, Guymon Casady of Film 360, Scott Rudin and Academy Award® winner Christian Colson. Michael Fassbender plays Steve Jobs, the pioneering founder of Apple, with Academy Award®-winning actress Kate Winslet starring as Joanna Hoffman, former marketing chief of Macintosh. Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple, is played by Seth Rogen, and Jeff Daniels stars as former Apple CEO John Sculley.

actors:
Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs   Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman   Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak   Katherine Waterston as Chrisann Brennan   Jeff Daniels as John Sculley   Michael Stuhlbarg as Andy Hertzfeld   Makenzie Moss as Lisa Jobs (5 Years Old)   Sarah Snook as Andrea Cunningham   Adam Shapiro as Avie Tevanian   John Ortiz as Joel Pforzheimer   Perla Haney-Jardine as Lisa Jobs (19 Years Old)   Steven Wiig as Bill Martin  

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