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."
Winslet not only snubbed poor Harvey in her acceptance speech, but she didn't redress the omission in comments she made backstage to the press. Or later. After she exited the Oscar ceremony, she told the London Daily Telegraph, referring to her speech, "I remembered everybody."
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 (not true for directors and writers, for some crazy reason).
But Winslet's rep Heidi Slan tells Gold Derby, "I am sure this was an oversight considering she thanked him at SAG and BAFTA."
Granted, Winslet's been a bit flustered of late, so it's likely these snubs weren't intentional. She even confessed to Time magazine that she suffered a panic attack a month before the Oscars.
"I didn't know what it was. It was a little like when your water [breaks]. ... I called my sister and said, 'I can't breathe, and I feel like I've got a brick on my chest and I'm seeing funny, and it sounds like everyone's talking to me in Hebrew.' She said, 'Yeah, that's a panic attack.'"
Later, when she finally held the Oscar, she wouldn't let it out of her grasp, even bringing it along when she appeared on Oprah's chat show the next day.
Strangely, she then suddenly hid it from view. When she landed at JFK airport in New York, photographers asked her to show it. Nope, she said, "I have to show my kids before I show anybody else!"
Photo: Mark Boster, L.A. Times