English Not Amused By Kate Winslet's Acceptance Speeches

Illustration for article titled English Not Amused By Kate Winslets Acceptance Speeches

Kate Winslet's two Golden Globes acceptance speeches on Sunday were among the teariest and and most flustered in awards show history; but does she owe the entire United Kingdom an "apology"?

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Often the only thing that saves an awards show from being a total bore (aside from the fashion) is the prospect that a celebrity will deliver a charming and/or emotional acceptance speech that will be added to the annual clip reel of the most memorable moments. From the opening gasps of Winslet's acceptance speech for her second Golden Globe on Sunday night, it was clear it was such a speech (video below). But, while it seems many American critics found Winslet's speech endearingly flustered, the British were mortified.

Winslet apologizied to the other nominees (and dared to forget Angelina Jolie's name), but according to The Independent, it's not her fellow actresses who need an apology. "Never mind sorry to Anne, Meryl, Kristin and oh God, who's the other one," says the review. "It's us, her loyal British fans, to whom she should apologise. We expect less of you, Kate, much less."

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Reviews of the Golden Globes from the British press attacked Winslet for everything from playing up British stereotypes to possibly being inebriated. The review in The Independent said the speech would "make a corpse wince with embarrassment" and that it was unexpected of an actress, "whose irreproachably middle-class upbringing in Reading has always seemed to imbue her with a rather sensible outlook on life." According to The Guardian, the speech "raises the occasional wave of nausea, swiftly followed by a rush of hands to eyes in order to block out the spectacle." The reviewer said of Winslet's urging herself out loud to "gather," "It would be interesting to know if anyone has ever said this outside the Mitford family, since 1932." And The Times critique asked if her second emotional trip to the podium could have been the result of her "down[ing] some bubbly between her two awards."

With The Telegraph reporting that bookmakers say Winslet is an "absolute certainty" to win at least one Oscar following her Golden Globes success, should Winslet start penning her Academy Awards speech now, lest she make a career-ruining speech and further anger the Brits? Angelina Jolie may have come back from announcing during her 2000 Best Supporting Actress Awards speech, "I'm so in love with my brother right now!" However, while he was leaping around the stage after his 1996 win for Jerry Maguire, Cuba Gooding Jr. probably didn't imagine he'd end up in Snow Dogs.

Winslet's first win for Best Supporting Actress for The Reader:
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Winslet's second win for Best Actress for Revolutionary Road
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Brian Viner: Get A Grip, Kate. You're Embarrassing Us [The Independent]
Winslet Joins The Cast Of Hollywood Howlers [The Times]
Gather! How To Accept An Award The Kate Winslet Way [The Guardian]
Kate Winslet Favourite To Follow Golden Globes With Oscar Win [The Telegraph]

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DISCUSSION

ASmallTurnip
A Small Turnip

There is so much idiocy and knee-jerk stereotyping going on in this thread, it makes my head spin. Jesus.

There's a hell of a lot of context to this that some non-Brits just won't be aware of. Part of the fun of life as a British person is taking the piss out of someone who richly deserves it. It's a national pastime. Sometimes it's malicious, but more often than not it's roughly affectionate, although to outsiders it may appear cruel and unfeeling. Slagging Winslet off for being a theatrical luvvie is how old Fleet Street shows it cares.

The cardinal sin Winslet committed was to be just that little bit too earnest. We don't do earnest, and we relish the chance to make fun of it. Emotion is fine, if it's genuine, and preferably cloaked in some dry, deflecting humour. But earnestness is one of those things that truly, truly delights us because it is SO much fun to snark on. Kate knows that she's fresh meat for the teasing mill - and she knows because she's doubtless taking the piss out of herself for it. It was wonderfully, mightily, hilariously silly. And we secretly love her for it.

But don't ever fucking touch an English person without their permission. That's just asking for trouble. Not an Underground worker, not a waitress, not a friend of a friend, no one. You want to keep your hand, mate, then put it in your fucking pocket, OK? It has nothing to do with being emotionally repressed, and everything to do with personal space and autonomy. Don't do it, love.