After finally winning her Oscar for "The Reader" at the start of 2009, Kate Winslet's had a little break from awards-bait movies. Not that she's avoided the glitter altogether — she won an Emmy, deservedly, for her starring role in Todd Haynes' "Mildred Pierce," and has two Golden Globe nominations this weekend, both for that and for her turn in "Carnage." But the latter is an atypical kind of role for the star, an acerbic dark comedy, and most of her other choices of late, like Steven Soderbergh's "Contagion" and a role in portmanteau comedy "Movie 43" have been designed to let her have a little fun, rather than court awards voters.
But you can't stay away from prestige fare forever, and it looks like Winslet's just found her next contender as Baz Bamigboye reports that Winslet will star in "The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society," director Kenneth Branagh's follow-up to his superhero blockbuster "Thor." The book, a British best-seller by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Burrows, is being backed by 20th Century Fox, with a script from, intriguingly, "The Opposite Of Sex" writer/director Don Roos.
Winslet will play Julie Ashton, a magazine writer who begins a correspondence with a man from the Channel Islands (a British archipelago off the coast of France), who details life under Nazi occupation during World War Two, and the titular book group, a cover for resistance to the occupation. She travels to Jersey to help the islanders tell their stories, and romance, as you might imagine, blossoms.
The project marks a reunion of Winslet and Branagh over fifteen years after she played Ophelia in his version of "Hamlet," and while the success of "Thor" has seen Branagh develop a number of projects, most notably Henning Mankel's "Italian Shoes," with Anthony Hopkins and Judi Dench, this seems to have taken the lead, with filming set to get underway in March, before Winslet teams with Jason Reitman and Josh Brolin for "Labor Day." As such, and given the pedigree involved, if Branagh can get a cut together in time, this could turn out to be a big awards player in next year's Oscar race.