Kate Winslet continues her streak of excellence with The Reader. Part of a Winslet double-header this Christmas. She's also stars in Director Sam Mendes', the lucky Mr. Winslet, Revolutionary Road. The Reader is an erotic and thought provoking drama concerning German reconciliation post World War II. It begins in the late 1950s with Winslet as Hanna Schmitz, a train conductor who has a torrid affair with fifteen year old student, Michael Berg (David Kross). Michael reads to Hanna during their passionate liasons. It is only as a law student years later, Michael find's out that Hanna was a Nazi prison guard, complicit in a terrible crime. The film moves back and forth in time as the adult Michael (Ralph Fiennes) remembers the woman who captivated him.

Winslet, Lena Olin (plays a prison camp survivor), David Kross, and director Stephen Daldry (The Hours, Billy Elliot) spoke at length about the difficult issues portrayed in the film. Winslet in particular was deeply affected by her character and had strong views on Hanna's relationship with a teenager. She continues to make erotically charged films, doing very risque sex scenes, which is inceasingly rare from A-list actresses. But she does back it up with her performance, so I have to give Kate credit. She's definitely got the acting chops...and is smoking hot as well.

Julian Roman