Photo: KnowInsiders
Photo: KnowInsiders

Kate Winslet is a widely renowned actor. She has played a wide variety of roles—especially in the realm of romance films. She frequently gives deep, grounded, and emotional performances. From Titanic to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Whether it be box office record-breaking hits or smaller, independent fare—Winslet has made defining films about love stories her bread and butter. However, her range extends well beyond that, and you’ll find the best of her work in any genre below.

While success in films came easy for Winslet, the one thing that did seem to elude her for a long time was recognition from the Academy. She would have to wait through five Oscar losses before the award would finally come her away for the 2008 movie “The Reader.” She would lampoon her Oscar troubles (and ironically receive an Emmy nomination) on an episode of the Ricky Gervais comedy “Extras.” On that show, Winslet played a satirical version of herself who is so desperate to win an Oscar that she has taken a role in a film about the Holocaust because her agent has told her holocaust films always win Oscars. To add to the irony of it all the film she eventually did win an Oscar for, “The Reader,” was a Holocaust film.

List Best Kate Winslet Movies

1. Titanic

2. The Holiday

3. Ammonite

4. Iris

5. Wonder Wheel

6. Steve Jobs

7. Mildred Pierce

8. Little Children

9. Finding Neverland

10. The Dressmaker

11. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

12. The Divergent Series: Insurgent

13. Collateral Beauty

14. Carnage

15. Flushed Away

1. Titanic (1997)

Photo: ew
Photo: ew

The big one. As Rose Dewitt Bukater, Winslet offers a bit of a route one performance as a teenage socialite suffocated by a financially advantageous betrothal, liberated by contact with Leonardo DiCaprio’s roughneck artist. But in such an epic, go-for-the-throat popular spectacle, it was undoubtedly what was needed. (Cameron has said he originally wanted an Audrey Hepburn type, which Winslet fundamentally is not.) Oddly, DiCaprio seemed to do a little better out of Titanic’s planet-conquering success, almost immediately graduating to Spielberg and Scorsese pictures; it took Winslet a bit longer to crack the Hollywood elite, according to The Guardian.

The classic film that brought us a young, fresh-faced Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio can be streamed with both Hulu and Amazon Prime subscriptions.

2. The Holiday (2006)

Photo: stylist
Photo: stylist

Worn down by their respective love lives, Iris (Winslet) and Amanda (Cameron Diaz) trade homes in different countries for a Christmas vacation and find a renewed sense of hope in "The Holiday."

Sweet and sincere, sometimes to a fault, the film was best enjoyed with low expectations, according to critics.

'"The Holiday' is as corny as it gets, but in a cinemascope full of macho grunting and aggressive irony, [director Nancy] Meyers is perhaps right to believe that corniness is what women — and their boyfriends — will be wanting," Sukhdev Sandhu wrote for The Telegraph.

Luckily you can easily binge it on Amazon Prime.

3. Ammonite (2020)

Photo: vnexpress
Photo: vnexpress

Loosely based on the life of British paleontologist Mary Anning, Ammonite's portrayal of Anning's sexuality has proven to be incredibly divisive. One thing that most seem to be in agreement over, however, is that Winslet did a fantastic job of bringing the character back to life.

She delivers an assured performance that is full of both passion and purpose in equal measures. Sadly, a staggering theatrical release and periodic lockdowns have made it incredibly difficult for people to get out and see the movie and its box office performance reflects this. At the time of writing, it's taken just over half a million dollars for a loss of almost 13 million, Gamerant cited.

The film came out in 2020 and is worth a watch on Hulu.

4. Iris (2001)

Photo: Youtube
Photo: Youtube

Sharing the same character as Judi Dench must be somewhat daunting for any actress, but Winslet steps up to the plate in Richard Eyre‘s film. Her young Iris Murdoch has a honed-in eccentricity that exudes an insatiable joie de vivre, and with it, Winslet delivers one of her most sensitive, subdued, and totally immersed supporting performances. The gut-puncher of the story is that famed novelist Iris Murdoch (Dench) is losing her memories and her sense of self due to a debilitating bout of Alzheimer’s.

This emotional core is massaged by various factors, not least by Jim Broadbent‘s Oscar-winning turn as Iris’ bottomlessly dear husband John Bailey. But, these older scenes have a tendency to overcompensate in sap due to the very nature of their context and performances. The younger scenes, by contract, leave no room for such melodramatic dressing, making them slightly stronger as a result. Winslet’s Iris effortlessly expresses the mystery and attraction of the woman, her “secret world” of words and language feeling under continuous construction through her wondrous gaze.

Free-spirited, natural, and vehemently feminist without an ounce of posturing about it, she disappears into the role of Iris Murdoch just as much as Dench does (a bit more, even?). It’s Winslet’s savvy for soft sublimity that magnetizes everything — from Hugh Bonneville‘s fine performance as young John to our own attention — whenever her Iris is on screen, making the disease that threatens to erase those moments from her memory that much more evil, Indiewire noted.

It is available to watch on Amazon Prime.

5. Wonder Wheel (2017)

Photo: rollingstone
Photo: rollingstone

Set in 1950s Coney Island, "Wonder Wheel" centers on a lifeguard's (Justin Timberlake) chance connection to a dysfunctional family: Ginny (Winslet), Carolina (Juno Temple), and Humpty Rannell (Jim Belushi).

Overall, the picture was received poorly by critics, but Winslet's performance was seen as a highlight.

"At times the dialogue feels a bit trite or maybe too familiar," Glynis Costin wrote for InStyle. "But watching Winslet fully inhabit Ginny from despair to hope to despair again, is well worth it."

Watch Winslet in the Woody Allen film, Wonder Wheel, based on a 1950's lifeguard in Coney Island on Amazon Prime.

6. Steve Jobs (2015)

Photo: screendaily
Photo: screendaily

There were some concerns about Winslet’s accent as the Polish-born Joanna Hoffmann, confidant and marketing impresario to the Apple pioneer, but who cares when a performance has this much presence? Winslet earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her turn in “Steve Jobs” as one of the (many) women behind the man behind the machine, and she’s a fitting choice to deliver Aaron Sorkin’s quick-clipping monologues and to keep up with Danny Boyle’s constantly roving camera. Watch it on Netflix.

7. Mildred Pierce (2011)

Photo: bbcamerica
Photo: bbcamerica

Todd Haynes is a heavenly match made for any towering screen actress (see also Cate Blanchett in “Carol” and “I’m Not There,” and Julianne Moore in “Safe” and “Far From Heaven”). But Haynes, Kate Winslet, James M. Cain, and HBO? The stuff of small-screen magic. Across five episodes, Emmy winner Winslet embodies the patient ferocity of the self-made Mildred Pierce, deepening with every installment as she starts her own business, finds trouble in love, and struggles to contain her spoiled brat daughter (Evan Rachel Wood). It’s not that Mildred’s defiant contours don’t fit into 1930s America — it’s that that world can’t contain her. IndieWire’s Ben Travers puts it succinctly: “‘Mildred Pierce’ sees Winslet in peak form, mastering an era-appropriate elocution, posture, and wardrobe while her day-to-day actions completely upend expectations.”

Watch this miniseries about Winslet playing a divorcee struggling to survive during the Great Depression. Stream it on HBO Max, Hulu, YouTube TV, Amazon Prime.

8. Little Children (2006)

Photo: borntobeunicorn
Photo: borntobeunicorn

In the somewhat forgotten film Little Children, Winslet plays a mother in a loveless marriage and feels aimless. She begins to have an affair with a similarly rudderless stay-at-home father (Patrick Wilson). His wife (Jennifer Connelly) becomes suspicious of the affair. Their stories intersect with a local disgraced cop (Noah Emmerich) as well as a sex offender (Jackie Earle Haley). A number of critics lauded Winslet for her turn in the film.

Little Children is another film Winslet starred in that is based on a novel. Easily stream the 2006 romance drama on HBO Max and Hulu.

9. Finding Neverland (2004)

Photo: Youtube
Photo: Youtube

Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet lead this 2004 historical fantasy drama about playwright J.M. Barrie, who turns his friendship with a family into the magical story of Peter Pan.

Winslet plays the mother of the family, Sylvia Llewelyn Davies. She is widowed and struggling, being that she is forced to raise four young sons and push through a pressing illness.

The film's nostalgic feel and real emotions enchanted viewers, Screenrant reported.

Stream it on Hulu and HBO Max.

10. The Dressmaker (2015)

Photo: theitalianreve
Photo: theitalianreve

In the revenge comedy "The Dressmaker," Tilly Dunnage (Winslet) returns to her small Australian hometown after years of being painted as a monster.

Even the most ardent Winslet admirers were thrown off by the tonal highs and lows of "The Dressmaker."

"Kate Winslet can do anything," Peter Travers wrote for Rolling Stone. "Except save this movie from quirky overkill."

Watch it on Amazon Prime.

11. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)

Photo; indiewire
Photo; indiewire

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is built around a wonderful idea that is perfectly executed by some of the most talented people in the industry. The writing is sharp, the characters are complex and the excellent use of color throughout the movie makes it easy for viewers to keep track of when exactly events are taking place as they’re dragged back and forth across the movie’s timeline.

Winslet has since highlighted Clementine as one of her favorite roles, and the movie itself as an important turning point in her career. It was one of the first times that she had ever been cast as an American, and she does a fantastic job of bringing the complex and erratic character to life. Many consider it to be her very best performance, although it was only enough for a Best Actress nomination rather than the Oscar itself. Watch it on Peacock.

12. The Divergent Series: Insurgent (2015)

Photo: hollywood
Photo: hollywood

In the sequel to "Divergent" (2014), Tris (Shailene Woodley) and her friends rebel against Jeanine (Winslet), the leader of a dystopian government that boxes citizens into discrete sections of society.

A continuation of the film adaptations of the book series by Veronica Roth, "Insurgent" was evidence for most critics that the franchise was losing steam.

"There's little substance and little depth, but Woodley, with her preternatural poise, offers a worthy simulation of drama," wrote Richard Brody for The New Yorker.

If you're in the mood to binge-watch the Divergent trilogy, you easily can with FuboTV subscription, BuzzFeed suggested.

13. Collateral Beauty (2016)

Photo: empireonline
Photo: empireonline

In "Collateral Beauty," Howard Inlet (Will Smith) withdraws from his friends and family after an unimaginable loss. In an attempt to push past his grief, Howard writes letters addressed to Love, Time, and Death.

Winslet starred opposite Smith as Howard's estranged friend Claire Wilson.

Critics had few kind words for "Collateral Beauty" due to its indelicate approach to a heavy subject matter.

"However glorious the cast, almost nothing can rescue a Christmas cancer movie, or certainly not one this tonally deaf," Kate Muir wrote for The Times.

Watch Winslet share the screen with Will Smith and Keira Knightley on Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime.

14. Carnage (2011)

Photo: rogerebert
Photo: rogerebert

Winslet has gone on record saying she regrets working with Polanski (as well as Woody Allen), so it’s tricky to know how to take this now. Remove Polanski’s name from the equation and this looks like an actors’ showcase of high caliber (if a little self-consciously so). Winslet and her business-guy husband Christoph Waltz are meeting Jodie Foster and John C Reilly to talk over their sons’ fight; politeness soon turns to irritation and then flat-out rage. It’s another heavyweight turn for Winslet, another of the upscale American types she has got very good at.

15. Flushed Away (2006)

Photo: businessinsider
Photo: businessinsider

Flushed Away is one of the most original animated movies of the past few decades. It's full of witty writing, charming characters, and well-crafted visuals. It's just as enjoyable for adults as it is for kids. There are some big names scattered throughout the movie's cast too, and for the most part, at least, they each give a good account of themselves.

Having already lent her voice to several animated characters by this point in her career, Winslet was no stranger to the world of animation. It's perhaps for this reason that she is able to deliver her lines so confidently and purposefully while still managing to get the humor just right. Being a good actor or actress doesn't always translate well to voice work, but in Winslet's case, it absolutely does.

Winslet plays the voice of sewer scavenger in this DreamWorks film that can be watched on both Hulu and HBO Max.

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