Oscar Campaign Against Kate Winslet
Will Kate be shunned for playing a Nazi?
– Carrie Seim
After five prior Academy Award nominations – and five prior Academy Award losses, the smart Oscar pool money was finally on Kate Winslet this year.
But now Kate’s said to be facing a covert campaign aimed to deny her the best supporting actress statue for her role as an illiterate Nazi in The Reader.
The Sunday Telegraph reports that historians have denounced the film as “Holocaust revisionism,” and that Jewish members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences have received emails urging them not to vote for Kate.
Ron Rosenbaum, author of the book Explaining Hitler, pleaded with Academy members to eschew The Reader, which he calls “the worst Holocaust film ever made,” according to the Telegraph.
Rosenbaum says the film should not be rewarded for provoking sympathy for Kate’s character, simply because she can’t read. He pointedly refers to The Reader as “a film that asks us to empathize with an unrepentant mass murderer.”
Another film critic, Noah Forrest of Movie City News, agrees that Kate should be shut out for her role in the film.
“She’s an illiterate ex-Nazi who doesn’t make any excuses for her role in the Holocaust,” he says. “The film wants me to have sympathy for her because she’s illiterate – as if being illiterate makes someone unable to know that killing is wrong.”
And even more striking, a Los Angeles-based film consultant says a publicist for one of The Reader’s rivals has been circulating emails with Rosenbaum’s critical comments to some Jewish members of the Academy, according to the Telegraph.
But will any of these accusations really affect Kate’s chances at Oscar gold?
According to number wunderkind Nate Silver – not so much.
Nate, who’s had uncanny success predicting political victories on his website, www.FiveThirtyEight.com , has now partnered with New York Magazine to forecast Oscar fortunes.
Using a fancy computer model and data points such as genre, opening weekend dates, box office revenues and prior awards, Nate’s got oddsmaking down to a science.
His numbers – or at least 67.6 percent of them – say best actress is all Kate this year.
The Reader itsef has 0.0 percent chance of winning best pic, according to Nate. Ouch.
But unless Meryl Streep (32.4 percent chance) comes from behind for a surprise steal, it looks like Kate – Nazi role or not – will finally be bringing home her gold trophy.