Winslet’s win a done deal or is there more to consider?

Posted by · 12:35 pm · February 5th, 2009

Kate Winslet in The ReaderWhen Kate Winslet surprisingly popped up in the lead actress category for her performance in “The Reader,” most of us immediately jumped to the conclusion that she’ll win the Oscar walking away.  That is still probably the safest bet, but some folks are disturbing the waters, starting with Winslet herself in a recent AP story:

Kate Winslet says she is prepared to leave this year’s Oscar ceremony as she has five times in the past — without a golden statue.

“I’m so used to it, having gone through it before and having lost so many times,” Winslet says. “Being in that losing state is something I’m much more comfortable in, in a funny kind of a way.”

David Carr, meanwhile, points out that Ray Richmond considers Winslet’s category switcheroo to be a “snag”:

Winslet’s previous wins for “Reader” came in the supporting category. For reasons known only to its acting branch, the Academy decided to give her more votes in the lead category. Winslet is untested here. While the odds still favor her, don’t rule out the chance of a loss.

What do you think?  Is the Oscar already in her hand or is Meryl Streep most likely to swoop in and grab statue #3?  (Personally I don’t think Anne Hathaway is going to figure in here.)

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44 responses so far

  • 1 2-05-2009 at 12:45 pm

    Brad said...

    I think Meryl will win. Doubt is picking up steam and more and more people are talking about “that scene”. “That scene” will push Streep and Davis to Oscar wins.

  • 2 2-05-2009 at 12:45 pm

    Zak said...

    I see, (or at least hope to see) kinda what happened last year. Almost everyone expected Julie Christie to walk away with it, but Marion Cotillard got in there for the win. I think the majority of people are expecting Winslet to win here, but I’m hoping Streep swoops in for the win. I know Winslet will win someday, maybe even this month, and she is overdue.

    But I also feel that the epitome of “Overdue” is not only having 15 Oscar nominations, winning only once for Lead Actress, going 26 years without winning, and losing 10 straight statues in a row! That’s Overdue.

    Meryl Streep for the Win!

  • 3 2-05-2009 at 1:06 pm

    Rob said...

    It’s a strange one, because past trends that people are citing – dont cover the fact that this would be Winslet’s 6th loss. She’d join Deborah Kerr and Thelma Ritter.

    Then there is the Best Picture and Direction nominations. Whilst there is always the argument that it was a surprise nomination – it shows that a small film, with a big push got in in 4 major catergories. Direction is most telling. This isn’t like Chocolat in my mind. It suggests the film has broad support.

    And YES – Streep hasn’t won in 26 years. But she does have 2 Oscars. Voters seem to factor this in year after year, rightly or wrongly, and choose another actor.

    Streep is up against someone who is arguably equally due for a win. And plenty realise that lesser actresses have won recently.

    It’s a well recieved performance in a BP nominated film. And its something hugely different for her. There is also the fact that she was in Revolutionary Road this year too – another well reviewed performance.

    I have seen precious little evidence to date of the love for Doubt, aside from the SAG win. I never thought Winslet would win two there. Streep has never won a Film SAG – it seemed likely.

  • 4 2-05-2009 at 1:15 pm

    Mr. Harmonica said...

    It’s pretty much between Winslet and Streep with Hathaway an unprobable the dark horse.

    It’s about as stark as a coin toss. Literally: I’ll probably decide Best Actress for my Oscar pool by coin toss, because it’s such a strange race this year.

  • 5 2-05-2009 at 1:16 pm

    Adam Smith said...

    Yeah, the person who actually has two Oscars is due, not the one who has never won. Based on ratio, Streep is equally due, losing 6 for every obe win. Still, 2 out of 15 is still 2 on the mantle, and 0 out of 6 is still 0.

    So, in summation:

    1) Streep is not due shit.

    2) Unless Jolie is miserable, Streep is arguably the weakest performance of the bunch.

    3) Winslet and Leo are the only two that would deserve a win.

    I normally try to argue facts, but these Streep fanatics can’t be reasoned with. And before I get called a Winslut, I went into The Reader with low expectations and was completely enthralled and won over.

  • 6 2-05-2009 at 1:20 pm

    Mr. Harmonica said...

    I was aware as soon as I clicked the submit button that unprobable isn’t a real word, and that I forgot to delete ‘the’ in the midst of editing ‘the dark horse
    to ‘an un(guh)probable dark horse’.

    I could just come out and say they were on the fault of a typing error and a tired brain, but I’m going to go ahead and blame Harvey Weinstein’s voodoo magic instead.

  • 7 2-05-2009 at 1:23 pm

    malevolentmuse said...


    I hate to disagree with again (although there is something to be said for consistency), but I just don’t see Streep winning for this performance. It’s the first time I can remember where her performance actually had detractors. Everyone is always going ga-ga over her, but this time (myself included) there are people who were not impressed. I thought her accent was awful and anytime she was on-screen with Hoffman, in my opinion, he blew her out of the water. I didn’t hate her performance, but I can’t say I really liked it. If Winslet doesn’t win I have to disagree yet again and say I think it will go to Hathaway, but I really do expect it to be Winslet in a walk.

  • 8 2-05-2009 at 1:34 pm

    The InSneider said...

    Streep gave the best performance and she’s going to win because Kate got nommed for the wrong role. Still don’t understand whose kid Jolie adopted to get nominated… she was laughably bad.

  • 9 2-05-2009 at 2:05 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    I agree with you on Angelina Jolie, InSneider. Seeing Kristin Scott Thomas snubbed was bad, but Jolie being nominated instead was just rubbing salt on the wound.

    I can’t really agree with you on Streep, though. I think that it’s going to take another Sophie’s Choice-calibur performance to get her a third Oscar, and Doubt isn’t it. Her chances were way better in 2002 for Best Supporting Actress (Adaptation.) and she lost that one. Meanwhile, you can taste the desperation to give Kate her overdue Oscar. I think she has this one wrapped up.

  • 10 2-05-2009 at 2:09 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    malevolentmuse: Where did I say Streep was going to win? I said her performance was over-the-top long ago. I think it’s borderline terrible. I’m just linking to points being made by others.

  • 11 2-05-2009 at 2:19 pm

    Adam Smith said...

    Oooh, update! Because now I’ve got some more history for that ass.

    The Streep fanbase likes to whine and moan about how she’s been nominated 15 times now, and of the 14 Oscars that have already been awarded, she’s only won two. But they never stop to think “Hmm, what were those losing performances, and who did she lose to?”

    2006 – The Devil Wears Prada; loses to Helen Mirren, a performance universally recognized as brilliant, and an unstoppable steamroller at that point (note: Kate Winslet also nominated for Little Children)

    2002 – Adaptation.; loses to Catherine Zeta-Jones–this one is legit, her performance was the best one nominated

    1999 – Music of the Heart; loses to Hilary Swank–does anyone actually remember anything about this movie besides Meryl’s nomination or that terrible N’SYNC/Gloria Estefan collabo that came out of it? This was never gonna win, and up against a transformation like Swank’s, it wasn’t going to

    1998 – One True Thing; lost to Gwyneth Paltrow–I haven’t seen One True Thing, but the only time I ever hear people mention it is because of how campy some of it is–if anything, people might debate Blanchett was robbed

    1995 – Bridges of Madison County; lost to Susan Sarandon–looked like a pretty stacked category with several worthy contenders, so her loss is not a huge surprise or snub, considering the competition

    1990 – Postcards from the Edge; lost to Kathy Bates–I admit I haven’t seen the nominated performances, but Bates in Misery has become so iconic, it’s easy to see why she won

    1988 – A Cry in the Dark; lost to Jodie Foster–the dingo ate her baby

    In all, it seems that Meryl just has the bad luck of either getting nominated on her name alone (Music of the Heart) or getting nominated up against some of the most highly regarded actresses in the world (Helen Mirren, Geraldine Page, Katherine Hepburn, Maggie Smith).

    Here, by comparison, is an excerpt of the losses of Kate Winslet.

    2006 – Little Children; loses to Helen Mirren, but is arguably the second best of the nominated performances

    2004 – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; loses to Hilary Swank–this oversight is easily the most offensive

    2001 – Iris; loses to Jennifer Connelly–I don’t have to see Iris to know that the ultimate winner was the weakest nominee

    While Streep has lost 12 times (and is hopefully set to make it a lucky 13 losses), she’s also lost to other brilliant people. Winslet has only lost 5 times, but lost to the likes of Mira Sorvino, Jennifer Connelly and two-time winner Hilary Swank.

    If we base all of their losses in a historical context (rather than just numbers), who looks snubbed now?

    It is Kate’s year, it’s a great performance, she deserves it.

  • 12 2-05-2009 at 2:27 pm

    sam said...

    It is Kate’s year but I’m truly bothered that she was not nominated for Revolutionary Road which was the performance of the year, along with Leonardo Dicaprio giving the best acting performance of the year — this years biggest ommission. If I was to be base it on her performance on the reader, I would go with Meryl Streep in Doubt, who gives a great performance. People seem in love with anne hathaway but I liked her but HATED rachel getting married. So in short, I hope it is Kate Winslet for giving two great performances but wish it was for RR.

  • 13 2-05-2009 at 2:36 pm

    laincoubert said...

    If Streep wins the BAFTA it will be Streep to loose, but I think it’s a very unlikely situation. I feel her as the weakest of the bunch. “Changeling” has a pretty strong support in Europe and Scott-Thomas is English (and the best performance of the year, by the way).

    If Winslet wins (doesn’t matter the movie), she will walk with an Oscar. I mean. She will have 6 nominations and no wins yet, she’s nominated for a film that got in 5 important categories and won this year supporting BFCA, SAG, two GG and a BAFTA. The academy should be ashamed if Winslet looses.

  • 14 2-05-2009 at 2:45 pm

    ГЎngel ramos said...

    I don’t care about who was loss more times. I care about performances and definitively Winslet with her marvelous transformation into Hannah Schmidit was far better than Streep, Hathaway or Jolie work.

  • 15 2-05-2009 at 2:45 pm

    Patrick said...

    I would say Winslet, Streep and Leo were all excellent. I will be happy if any of these 3 win. If forced to vote for one, it would be for Streep. I think it is her best performance since “Silkwood.”

  • 16 2-05-2009 at 3:02 pm

    Xavi Rodriguez said...

    2006 – Little Children; loses to Helen Mirren, but is arguably the second best of the nominated performances – I’m disagree with you, adam. Kate was easily the weakest of the top five that year. Judi Dench deserves the award and close of her was Penelope Cruz.

    Anyway, Streep and Winslet are both overdue actresses and I hope there’ll be a tie between them

  • 17 2-05-2009 at 3:05 pm

    Zak said...

    I have to respond to Adam’s comment. It seems like you haven’t seen a lot of Streep’s nominated performances. I’ve seen them all, and all the film’s of the actresses that have beaten her. In my opinion the two most undeserving Oscar wins for Best Actress in history were Gwyneth Paltrow in 1998 and Catherine Zeta-Jones in 2002.

    Paltrow was terrible and beat out not only Streep, but the amazing performance by Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth. And I could go on all day how much I am still upset about Zeta-Jones winning over Streep for Adaptation in 2002. Her performance in Adaptation was truly brilliant.

    I guess some may call me a “Streep Fanantic” but I have been a fan for many years, and out of all her 12 Oscar losses I have to honestly say I think she should be at LEAST a 6-time Oscar Winner.

    (Sophie’s Choice, Kramer vs. Kramer, Out of Africa, Bridges of Madison County, One True Thing, Adaptation)

    With regards to this year, after seeing all 5 of the nominated performances, I still feel as though Streep had the best one. And actually I like Leo better than Winslet in the Reader. And I have seen all 6 of Winslet’s nominated performances, and I was really rooting for her for Eternal Sunshine, she should have won instead of Swank.

    Deep down, I still see Winslet winning, but I hope for a Streep upset :)

  • 18 2-05-2009 at 3:22 pm

    Jackie said...

    I think that Leo’s is far and away the best performance of the five. Far and away.

    Had Kate been nominated for Revolutionary Road, this would’ve been a different story.

  • 19 2-05-2009 at 3:26 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    I agree, Jackie. I find it hard to understand how anyone could watch all five performances and not think Leo’s is the most impressive. Sadly, I suspect a lot of the voters aren’t bothering with their “Frozen River” screeners. It was ever thus.

  • 20 2-05-2009 at 3:53 pm

    The Z said...

    If Streep loses this year she gets another chance in 2009 for “Julie and Julia” – she’ll be playing a real person (an icon, legend, etc.), be another year overdue, and won’t have to compete against Kate. Unless a critic’s (and audience’s) darling or Miley Cyrus getting ugly emerge to steal the thunder, Streep’s got the gold.

    And if you don’t think she’ll get nominated (or win, for that matter) just remember one thing – she is Meryl frickin’ Streep.

  • 21 2-05-2009 at 3:55 pm

    The Z said...

    Oh, and I agree with Xavi Rodriguez:

    Judi Dench was out of this world in “Notes on a Scandal.” I can’t get enough of her.

  • 22 2-05-2009 at 3:55 pm

    Michael W. said...

    I was really dissapointed when Kate was nominated in lead. I wanted both Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet to win this year and that can’t happen now so I really don’t know what to think. I would LOVE to see Meryl win her third (that should have happened for Adaptation)but I would also LOVE to se Kate finally win.

    So what will it be? I don’t know. But I can’t see anyone else win. It’s between those two and no matter which one it is I will be both happy and dissapointed.

    It’s tough! :-D

  • 23 2-05-2009 at 5:06 pm

    Armando said...

    In a world where Hilary Swank has two best actress Oscars, anything can happen.

  • 24 2-05-2009 at 5:43 pm

    skdfhk said...

    I think Viola Davis will be the Doubt cast member who takes home the Oscar.

    Meryl Streep was amazing in Doubt, though. It wasn’t purely dramatic. It was a little bit ironic and able to be read as entirely serious or as a caricature.

  • 25 2-05-2009 at 5:55 pm

    Pauley said...

    I think it would be, like Crash, another great stain on the history of the Academy for Kate Winslet not to win this year. The Reader is her finest performance to date and she does actually deserve it for this performance.

  • 26 2-05-2009 at 6:00 pm

    Miss E. said...

    I wouldn’t be suprised if Streep or Winslet both lose…I think Melissa Leo could win it.

  • 27 2-05-2009 at 6:48 pm

    Amy said...

    If ALL the academy members Actually watch fRozen RiveR , mElissa LeO will win .

    Otherwise , IT will be KATE WINSLET .

    Streep has no chance , IMO.

  • 28 2-05-2009 at 8:14 pm

    jake said...

    If they didn’t rush the oscars with the move to February, maybe they would get to those screeners.

    It concerns me that Streep won the SAG award, so anyone who says she has no chance is crazy. I hope that Viola Davis gets best supporting actress for Doubt — she is far and away the best best of the nominees.

    Kate is not a sure thing, no one is a sure thing — tell that to Lauren Bacall.

  • 29 2-05-2009 at 9:48 pm

    James said...

    Let’s examine this: Winslet has won *every major precursor* for The Reader so far, sans BAFTA. If she does indeed win the BAFTA, and for The Reader of course, then it will strengthen her case. She’s the only BP-nominee-Actress, has the overdue factor, and the traction to boot.

    I’m glad that you at least disagree that Hathaway ain’t happening, Kris. I find it bogus anyone still supports a potential upset by her. Really?! Even after they shut-out RGM from Screenplay? I highly doubt it. Hathaway’s come-off as arrogant and self-absorbed this season. (Bride Wars doesn’t help her cause, Norbit-style.) If anyone could upset besides Streep, it’s not Jolie either, it’s Leo. At least FR got that amazing Screenplay nod.

  • 30 2-05-2009 at 10:31 pm

    Matthew said...

    Peter O’Toole lost 8 times out of 8 nominations…Winslet can withstand losing a few more rounds.

    Streep won the SAG and that does count strongly in her favor, even if Winslet wasn’t nominated for The Reader, she was still nominated period.

    Winslet has a few factors against her, #1 – she won supporting for The Reader all over the place and now she is in Lead for the Oscar on what can be more defined as a supporting performance than lead, #2 backlash againt The Reader by Dark Knight fans, #3 strong support from the acting branch for Doubt with 4 acting nominations

  • 31 2-06-2009 at 12:05 am

    Kevin said...

    Haven’t seen The Reader, Frozen River, Changeling or Rachel Getting Married yet but it would be mortifying if Meryl won for Doubt. She was over-the-top and seemed out of her depth, especially in her scene against Viola. I saw Kate in Revolutionary Road and she was brilliant. Not sure if I deem it as mind-blowing as others here claim but she definitely elevated the movie.

  • 32 2-06-2009 at 1:25 am

    Ross said...

    @ Kevin,

    I myself think Meryl was solid, but Kate was rather mechanical in RR. Sorry!

    Anyway, about who wins: MERYL! WHY?

    Kate got a mere applause.

    It shows some emotion!

  • 33 2-06-2009 at 1:30 am

    Ross said...


    You’re sooooooo prejudiced!


    2006 – lost to HELEN MIRREN: Kate gave THE LEAST IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE. To me Penelope was second. Meryl third.

    2004 – lost to HILARY SWANK: To me KATE was second. First was IMELDA STAUNTON.

    2001 – lost to JENNIFER CONNELLY: And if you say that she gave a better performance than Helen Mirren in Gosford Park?

    1997 – absurd, absurd! LEAST DESERVING!

    1995 – I’d say both Sorvino & especially Joan Allen were more deserving!


    2002 – sorry, but Meryl totally deserved this instead of Catherine Zeta!

    Music of the Heart, One True Thing – OK. Name recognition.

    The Bridges of Madison County – totally a great performance!

    Postcards from the Edge – OK!

    A Cry in the Dark – a GREAT, GREAT PERFORMANCE! People still rave about it! Foster was the young sensation! But her performance wasn’t even close. I remember Meryl won in Cannes and the NYFCC for it.

    Out of Africa – a GREAT performance! She would have won, had she not been rewarded twice already! Lost to a sentimental fave!

    Silkwood – a GREAT performance! Came in second probably! Against a sentimental fave!

    The French Lieutenant’s Woman – a GREAT performance! Many consider it her best work (yeah, over Sophie!) – lost to a SENTIMENTAL fave in a SO-SO performance!

    The Deer Hunter – another favorite!

    So, please stop bashing Streep! She lost at least 4-5 times when she was REALLY deserving!

    KATE has never been the favorite (or gave the most incredible performance in a category!). So … who’s overdue?

  • 34 2-06-2009 at 9:08 am

    Edgar said...

    IT will be Meryl Streep’s year. If you can get nominated just because you used your face to convey the character’s deepest emotions, you are a great actress! That is Meryl Streep!

  • 35 2-06-2009 at 3:27 pm

    Mike V. said...

    I think Streep will win. Her performance is fantastic. I’m sorry that many people prefer subtle performances instead of lousy and almighty characters; that’s the factor that is playing against Meryl here. Critics love a subtle performance but they hate over-the-top characters like Sister Alysious. I think she deserves to win. I’m from New York City and my mother worked in that area where Doubt is set [as a teacher, too]. Her accent was so accurate that my mom even cry from the start to the credits. She was crying because of the memories, of course. Performances are so subjectives; I particularly hate Hillary Swank but some people love her. So, there’s not objectivity when criticizing a film or a performance. Who is right and who is wrong? Nobody. The one that gets more votes wins and that’s it. So, people, get over it. I’m tired of people saying things like: “Angelina robbed Sally Hawkins”; “The Reader took The Dark Knight’s spot”; “Slumdog deserved acting nominations”, etc. You all should read the Academy rules. Anyway, I just can’t believe that Streep has lost 12 times when she actually deserves like 7 Oscars and a place in heaven.

    I also love Kate Winslet since Sense & Sensibility; if Meryl loses, I would love to see her winning. It’s not her best performance but it’s Oscar-worthy too. In my opinion, of course.

  • 36 2-07-2009 at 2:00 am

    paul said...

    I agree Mike V. MerylВґs performance in Doubt is fantastic. She is mesmerizing, one of the reasons the movie grabs and hold your attention.

    I canВґt understand people who claim that sheВґs over the top as Aloysious, and see that as a flaw, when it actually is appropiate. Aloysiouis clearly is an over-the-top character, so sure, so certain in her moral superiority. With god by her side she is somewhat of a fanatic at times and this is all covered in the script. ItВґs all there IN THE SCRIPT.

    ItВґs a bit campy at times and the sisterВґs a bit of a funny lunatic but at the same time she is dangerous. Streep covered all that and more. ItВґs a performance I love, my favorite of hers since The Bridges of Madison County.

    Certain characters are meant to be over-the-top and this do not have to be a bad thing. Aloysious is one of those characters, just like Daniel Plainwiew in There Will Be Blood. Did people complain about Day-Lewis performance? No, they loved it. Could it be that some feel itВґs time that Meryl is taken down a notch? Or that women better not be over-the-top? I donВґt get it.

  • 37 2-07-2009 at 3:58 am

    PJ said...

    There’s something romantic, and indeed satisfying, about seeing an Actor win for what is unanimously agreed as their best performance, and in Kate Winslet’s case, that feeling is exaggerated by more than decade’s worth of nominations and often unjust defeats. Winslet’s turn in “The Reader” however, by almost all accounts, is not that universally lauded performance. So I’m hoping Winslet loses this time (preferably to Melissa Leo), and instead wins in the (very near) future for that “Eternal Sunshine”-like performance we all know she has left in her in spades.

  • 38 2-07-2009 at 10:03 pm

    Jake said...

    If Kate had been nominated for Revolutionary Road would your opinion change? Please only those who say both the reader and RR should respond.
    Anyways, the fact that she had two great performances in one year is something. I would love to have Meryl win too but I think kate winslet is too great in RR and good in the reader to be ignored.

  • 39 2-08-2009 at 6:26 am

    JFK said...

    Having read through this thread in its entirety, it suggests if the opinions voiced in here are any indication, Streep will take it.

    I agree that her performance in Doubt was appropriately over the top. The thing people forget is that this film was adapted from a play–stage acting is inherently different than screen acting and Meryl pulled it off wickedly.

    I was very happy when I learned all of the actors for Doubt were nominated–it truly is a performance-driven film. Remember that critics called Amy Adams’ performance “Shaky,” again, this is the character, she is an insecure, unsure woman up against something dark and deceiving.

    I also have to say that Kate and Leo should’ve garnered noms from RevRo–if that were to happen Kate would’ve had a better chance. I think her nom for The Reader was strategic, either to give her the statue or make sure she doesn’t get it.

    Anne Hathaway is still my dark-horse, but Streep for the win!

  • 40 2-08-2009 at 7:25 am

    Jake said...

    I hope that all those who believe that Kate and Leo shouldve been nominated for RR should email and They are compiling comments.

    I do think in some way that an actress nominated for a film nominated for best picture has a better chance of winning. But the best picture nominee should have been Revolutionary Road, not the reader — ahh, that harvey weinstein. I hope that he doesn’t influence voters into getting penelope cruz an Oscar over the so deserving Viola Davis in Doubt.

  • 41 2-20-2009 at 12:30 am

    Winstreep said...

    Adam Smith, your logic doesn’t hold up at all. Streep wasn’t robbed, you’re correct, but Winslet, as good and charming an actress as she is, wasn’t robbed either.

    Sense & Sensibility – lost to Mira Sorvino, but Winslet wasn’t necessarily the best of the alternate nominees. Joan Allen in “Nixon,” for example, was memorable and acclaimed. So was Mare Winningham in “Georgia.”

    Titanic – lost to Helen Hunt, but up against Judi Dench, Helena Bonham Carter, and Julie Christie, all of whose acting was FAR more acclaimed by reviewers and who divided the various “precursor” awards between them. Winslet, by contrast, was probably the second weakest nominee after Hunt. Neither Hunt nor Winslet should have been nominated that year.

    Iris – all the precursor awards went to someone else, either Connelly or Mirren.

    Eternal Sunshine – Imelda Staunton and Annette Bening nominated alongside the winner, Swank.

    Little Children – Mirren’s year. Unstoppable.

    If Streep didn’t deserve to win most times she was nominated, Winslet probably didn’t either, I have to say. As good as they both can be, they were always – BOTH women – nominated alongside some other very good performances (as well as some very bad ones). Also, if Winslet had won for ANY of her previous performances, except SENSE & SENSIBILITY, it would’ve been considered a major upset. I don’t say the critics’ “precursor” awards were correct to go the way they did, but they did. Rightly or wrongly, Mirren, Connelly, Imelda Staunton, Bening, even Swank all won many more prizes going into Oscar night than Winslet ever did before this year.