As mentioned in a previous post, Kate Winslet was first choice for the lead role in The Reader but declined because of filming commitments on Revolutionary Road. Nicole Kidman was then surprisingly offered the role. Nicole accepted, but pulled out before filming began due to pregnancy. By that time, Kate was available to take on the role.
The Reader is an intriguing story that sees Kate as a German woman, Hanna Schmitz, accused of Nazi war crimes. The film will draw you in, and this is largely attributable to Kate's convincing portrayal, as well as the performances of the two male leads. Kate has been nominated for Best Actress at the upcoming Oscars, while the film has been nominated in the Best Film category (apparently pushing The Dark Knight off the nomination list). Kate appeared at the Berlin Premiere yesterday with her male co-stars (Ralph Fiennes and David Kross).
Would The Reader have been the same if Nicole had been in it? We will never know, but based on her acting in Australia it's highly unlikely. I just can't imagine Nicole doing those courtroom scenes.
Nicole secretly must be kicking herself though at a lost opportunity. Good luck Kate on Oscar night!