'The Reader': The movie with no leads?
For Your Consideration ads have been coming fast and furious in the trade papers lately, and as I suspected would happen a few weeks ago, the Weinstein Co.’s advertisement for The Reader (which I’d call a definite top-10 Best Picture contender) lists Ralph Fiennes and David Kross in Best Supporting Actor, and Kate Winslet and Lena Olin in Best Supporting Actress, with no candidates for Best Actor or Best Actress at all. Now, other movies, like Crash and Babel, have tried this tactic before with some success. But those two were indisputably ensemble films, whereas The Reader, which spans five decades, clearly has two main characters: one shared by Kross and Fiennes and the other played entirely by Winslet. Obviously, the all-supporting decision is meant to keep Winslet from competing against herself (she’s up for Best Actress for Revolutionary Road), but now that I’ve seen in print, it does seem a little disingenuous. If the Weinstein Co. had placed Kross in the Best Actor category (he has much more screen time than Fiennes), there would have been at least one official lead to speak of. Still, if the Academy follows the campaign directives, it’ll turn out to be a smart move, since Winslet’s amazing performance in The Reader should be a sure thing for a supporting nomination.
addCredit(“Melinda Sue Gordon”)