Best Kate Winslet Performances That Aren't Titanic

Kate Winslet has come a long way from being criticized by her drama teacher for settling for the "fat girl parts." Having starred in multiple Award-winning productions and receiving praise for her most well-known film, Titanic, the actress has a trajectory in Hollywood filled with remarkable performances worth admiration. Her name even resurfaced in the Emmys this year, after she won the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries for her role in the HBO hit show Mare of Easttown. This only reaffirms that Winslet is nowhere done surprising audiences by camouflaging into challenging characters.

Given that the British actress had so many bright moments past the iconic “Jack, I’m flying” scene, here are 9 projects featuring Winslet at her best.

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Heavenly Creatures

Throwing back to Winslet’s early years on-screen, she starred alongside Melanie Linskey in Heavenly Creatures, Peter Jackson’s exotic take on the true story of two best friends who share a love for literature and art through a fantasy land that they create for themselves as a sort of escapism. When their bond becomes more intense, their families try to separate them and suffer the consequences for it. This was the role that paved the way for Winslet. Only 18 at the time, Heavenly Creatures was her first step into the Hollywood scene.

Sense and Sensibility

As we know full-well, Winslet is stellar when it comes to partaking in period dramas. One of her first notable performances within the genre was playing the spontaneous Marianne Dashwood in Ang Lee's adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. The story is centered on the Dashwood sisters following their father’s death, as they move to a small property and experience romance and heartbreak. This was the first role that garnered an Academy Award nomination for Winslet and a bold start to her successful trajectory.

Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind

One of her few roles at the time that wasn't set in a period drama, Clementine Kruczynski in Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind is a notable character in Kate Winslet’s filmography. Constantly changing her hair color to match her shifting moods, Clementine impulsively erases her memories of boyfriend Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) through a procedure headed by a firm named Lacuna, shortly after the couple has a fight. When Joel finds out about this, he decides to erase his memories of her, too. Despite the couple not remembering one another, they seem to always find their way back to each other.

The Holiday

In this Christmas rom-com, Iris (Winslet) decides to flee from her duties after her ex-boyfriend gets engaged by swapping houses with Hollywood trailer editor Amanda Woods (Cameron Diaz). Iris has a taste of what it's like to live in the starlit mansions and approximates to Arthur (Eli Wallach), a retired screenplay writer. Meanwhile, Amanda takes a laid-back vacation staying at Iris’ English cottage and falling for Iris’ brother Graham (Jude Law).

Winslet didn’t have to nail down a particular accent or wear wigs for The Holiday, but she exudes charisma in this sweet chick-flick.

The Reader

In this adaptation to the screen of the German novel by Benhard Schlink, 15-year-old Michael Berg (David Kross) has a secretive relationship with an older woman named Hanna Schmitz (Winslet). She eventually disappears and Michael only sees her again when she is tried in court for the war crimes she committed as a guard in a Nazi concentration camp. As he witnesses Hanna in multiple hearings, he comes to a shocking realization about her.

Her portrayal of Hanna was so acclaimed at the time The Reader came out that it led Winslet to sweep award season, earning a Golden Globe, a Critics Choice Award, a SAG Award, a BAFTA, and ultimately, her first Academy Award.

Revolutionary Road

The amount of chemistry Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio displayed in Titanic was undeniable, and their later project as an on-screen couple equally showed their effortless connection. In Revolutionary Road, the duo plays Frank and April, a match made in heaven from the outside, but their relationship begins to crumble once April’s pregnancy begins to interfere in their initial plans.

Although Winslet and DiCaprio didn’t take an Academy Award home for this feature film, the two delivered memorable performances.

Mildred Pierce

On to Winslet’s presence on television with Mildred Pierce. In this HBO miniseries from Todd Haynes, the actress takes on the leading role as a single mother of two girls. As she struggles to raise and provide for her daughters (especially her eldest), Pierce opens a restaurant and begins a relationship with an ex-business partner of her ex-husband. Within the span of 5 episodes, Winslet won over the Emmys with her first award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries.

Steve Jobs

In this Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) biopic that captures both his professional and personal life, Kate Winslet incorporates the Apple mastermind’s marketing executive Joanna Hoffman. Throughout the film, Joanna proves to be Jobs’ “work wife”, actively becoming his confidante and keeping him grounded beyond his workaholic reality as the head of one of the greatest technology companies in the world. For this role, Winslet worked closely with Johanna to pinpoint the dynamic she used to have with Jobs and the actress translates that into a total physical transformation.

Mare of Easttown

Last but not least, Winslet’s latest work on television once again features her talent and capacity to tackle any character that comes her way. This time she dismissed any makeup or polished hairstyle to play Mare Sheehan, a police investigator from a small town in Pennsylvania. She is tasked with a murder case, at the same time that she is facing some personal struggles of her own. The more she tries to help everyone around her and keep her emotions enclosed, the more she notices that she must find her own healing.

This attention-grabbing hit show really instigated audiences all the way through. Winslet was so entrenched in the accent and careless look, that she helped herself with a second Emmy award for the same category she won years back for Mildred Pierce.

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About The Author
Isabella Soares (41 Articles Published)

Isabella Soares is a Freelance Resource Writer for Collider. She is passionate about teen dramas, Glee, and simply anything with a plot twist. Isabella is also an Associate Reporter for the Association of Foreign Press Correspondents U.S.A. Aside from Collider, Isabella has been featured in Stylus Magazine, the Winnipeg Free Press, and Empoword Journalism.

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