Award won: Best Actress (Kate Winslet)
As solid as ever, Kate Winslet earned her Best Actress honor in The Reader, Stephen Daldry's 2008 adaptation of German author Bernard Schlink's 1995 novel. She's especially top-notch in the film's first act, during which she plays a woman who's having an affair with a teenage boy. It's this 1958 section of the film where Daldry and his cast deliver a raw, sensual, and dangerous romance, and for that The Reader is worth a look.
Just turn if off once the setting jumps 37 years, into 1995, and Ralph Fiennes takes over as the grown-up version of said teenage boy. The Reader loses all of its steam and devolves into a standard courtroom drama that's as exciting as, well, watching somebody read Schlink's text verbatim and stone-faced.