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Kate Winslet is good in every era, but is she better in period pieces or modern day?

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Eternal Sunshine

Any day with Kate Winslet casting news is a good day. That’s because, whether she’s boarding the doomed Titanic or stepping back in time for Mildred Pierce, the Oscar-winning actress is going to turn out a performance that is brilliant in any era.

I confess, PopWatchers, that Kate Winslet is my all-time favorite actress, so I’m a little biased when it comes to her, but I was beyond thrilled when EW got the exclusive news that she would star in Jason Reitman’s upcoming big screen adaptation of Joyce Maynard’s 2009 novel Labor Day. 

Set in the 1980s, Winslet will play a depressed mother who finds herself, along with her son, in a troubling predicament when they meet an injured escaped convict (played by Josh Brolin, another fine example of an actor who can masterfully play any role in any time period).

Since a film set in the ’80s can technically be considered a period piece (as someone born in that decade, I can’t express how much this bums me out) it got me thinking, since Winslet can transport to any time — past or present — so effortlessly, which one does she do better?

There’s certainly a valid argument for each side. Winslet may not even be the star she is today if it weren’t for her career-launching roles in period films like Heavenly Creatures, Sense and Sensibility, Jude, Hamlet, and of course, Titanic. Four of six of Winslet’s Oscar nods came from period films, including her devastating work in The Reader, which finally brought her the gold.

Still, Winslet’s work in modern pieces rival, if not surpass, her ventures to the past. My very favorite performances from the actress are from the modern masterpiece Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the intense suburban drama Little Children. Both roles were a tight rope walk as Clementine (pictured) and Sarah, were, arguably, unlikeable characters, but Winslet won over audiences and critics alike with her layered performances. And while I certainly don’t count the somewhat grating rom com The Holiday as one of my top Winslet movies (I’d take the super-depressing Revolutionary Road over the super-saccharine Christmas flick), her portions of the film are downright charming.

Now they just have to get Winslet to star in a movie set in the future, and she’ll have done it all.

Do you prefer Kate Winslet in modern work or period pieces, PopWatchers? Let me know in the comments section below!

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