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Kate Winslet: One look says it all

Melina Voss
Melina Voss

Kate Winslet to receive the CineMerit Award and present her latest film, LEE

Kate Winslet: One look says it all

KATE WINSLET AS PHOTOGRAPHER LEE MILLER
photo: Kimberly French/Sky UK Ltd

The Munich International Film Festival is gearing up. Alongside multiple award-winning actress Jessica Lange, it now confirms the attendance of another star from the Hollywood dream factory: Oscar-winner Kate Winslet, whose latest film, LEE (German title: DIE FOTOGRAFIN), will have its European premiere in Munich following the lengthy strike in Hollywood.

As young Marianne Dashwood stands alone on a hill, looking down upon the home of her first love while quoting Shakespeare’s 116th sonnet, and drenched in rain and tears, the pain of losing her first love reveals itself in her eyes. This moving performance in Ang Lee’s SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (1995) not only earned Kate Winslet her first Oscar nomination; it also laid the foundation for her multifaceted career. It is rare that an actress can express so much with just one look. In 1997, Winslet won the hearts of viewers everywhere as Rose in TITANIC. Who could forget the moment when Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) puts her in a lifeboat and she holds his gaze as the boat is slowly lowered into the water? Pain, passion, and ultimately her determination not to leave him behind are all seen in Winslet’s eyes. She received the Academy Award in 2009 for her sophisticated portrayal of Hanna Schmitz in THE READER, a woman driven by guilt, incomprehension, pride, and passion. This is certainly reflected in a courtroom scene in which Hanna would rather take the blame for the death of hundreds of people than admit that she is illiterate.

Sinn Und Sinnlichkeit Online2

Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson in SENSE AND SENSIBILITY

KW

Photo: Frederic Auerbach

“Lee Miller, Lee Miller. Why has no one made a film about her?” Kate Winslet is not only a talented actress, but also a producer. When Winslet heard the story of the legendary war reporter, she was surprised that no one had immortalized Miller in film, so she took on the project herself. The result is LEE, a sensitive drama with impressive visuals, which focuses on a woman whose view through the camera shaped perceptions of the war in Europe.

Lee Miller started out as a model and muse for Man Ray and then got into photography on her own. She documented the bombing of London for British Vogue. As a war correspondent in France and particularly in Germany, she produced some of the most impressive photographic documentation of the Second World War. She hoped that her photographs of the concentration camps would lend a voice to those who no longer had one.

In 1945, Miller created a photograph for the ages when she posed in the bathtub in Adolf Hitler’s Munich apartment. In the foreground are the boots she’d worn to the Dachau concentration camp, whose liberation she had just documented. Lee thus penetrated the tyrant’s most private realm — at the moment he was taking his own life in his bunker in Berlin — and produced an image that offers a warning to future generations.

Winslet paints a portrait of an intrepid and sophisticated woman who was scarred by her wartime experiences and whose works comprise some of the most important photographic documentation of the 20th century.

Alongside Kate Winslet, Alexander Skarsgård, who rose to prominence not least through numerous award nominations for his role in the series SUCCESSION, shines as Lee Miller’s husband. Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard and Andrea Riseborough appear as Vogue editors. Josh O’Connor, whose breakthrough came as Prince Charles in THE CROWN, gives an excellent performance as a young journalist. The real-life Antony Penrose, who was his mother’s biographer, was closely involved in the entire project.

The screening will culminate in the presentation of the CineMerit Award to Kate Winslet. Since 1997, the Munich International Film Festival has been honoring outstanding personalities in international filmmaking with the CineMerit Award for their achievements in the art of film. This event will include an Extended Film Talk with Kate Winslet.

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