I’ve wondered here if Kate Winslet was nominated for “The Reader” (a film, I admit, I found drab) over her superior performance in “Revolutionary Road” because Academy voters have some strange, ancestral penchant for Holocaust drama. But alas, I failed to consider the alternative: dirty, sneaky, Hollywood politics. Thank goodness for Tom O’Neil then, who is wonderfully illuminating in today’s LA Times, for suggesting that Harvey Weinstein perpetrated a full-throttle Oscar push for his “Reader,” leaving “Revolutionary Road” at a dead end. It seems the dead giveaway was when Winslet omitted Weinstein from her acceptance speech. Was that an innocent mistake? Or was Winslet’s collaboration with hubby Sam Mendes snubbed because Harvey is hot for little gold statuettes?
Of all people Kate Winslet should’ve thanked from the Oscars podium as she finally — after five previous losses — clutched that elusive statuette, Harvey Weinstein should’ve been first. That Happy Oscar Warrior took enormous abuse for daring to cram “The Reader” into this year’s derby while Winslet also competed with “Revolutionary Road,” directed by her hubby, Sam Mendes. A producer of both films, Scott Rudin (“The New Harvey,” some wags call him after he won best picture last year for “No Country for Old Men”) was so irked that he took his name off the credits of “The Reader.”
Does that mean she intentionally snubbed Harvey at the Oscars? Rumor has it that she was furious with him for challenging her bid for “Revolutionary Road.” Trying to negotiate the clash, the Weinstein Co. campaigned her “Reader” role in supporting, where she won at the Golden Globes and SAG, but Oscar voters weren’t fooled into buying that second-tier status. They promoted her “Reader” performance to lead and — oops — thereby snubbed that other role entirely. After all, they had to choose between one or the other. Actors are only permitted to be nominated once per category..