Joshua Rich
February 19, 2009 AT 05:30 PM EST

Kate Winslet is a front runner to win the Best Actress Academy Award on Sunday, in case you hadn’t heard. Now, personally, I don’t think she’ll win (seems like Meryl Streep is due, a zillion years after her last victory, for Sophie’s Choice), but that’s beside the point. What I’m wondering here is whether Winslet may be better off if, yet again, she goes home without an Oscar. Gasp! Blasphemy! I know! But think about it: She’s one of the most respected, in-demand, universally adored actors in the world right now, so it’s not like an Academy Award would give her much of a street-cred boost. (I mean, I love her, even though Heavenly Creatures was extremely annoying.) Oh, and let’s not forget that she starred in Titanic, the biggest movie in the history of history, so it’s not like she’s got any more box office points to prove. Rather, she’s the youngest six-time nominee without a statuette ever, so a win would make her go from someone very unique around Hollywood to…Gwyneth Paltrow/Reese Witherspoon/Helen Hunt/Charlize Theron/Marion Cotillard. In other words, folks who aren’t nearly as beloved as Winslet already is.

I know, I know, any Boston Red Sox fan will tell you that winning after a long drought is wicked sweet. Then again, let’s be honest here: The Red Sox pretty much ceased being interesting the moment the 2004 World Series ended. The same very well could be the case with Kate. But what do you think, Oscar/Kate Winslet/baseball fans? Should Winslet finally just get what she has deserved for so long? Or would it be cooler if she remained in the rare company of classic competitive-Oscar also-rans like Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant, Peter O’Toole, and Glenn Close? (A list, mind you, that’s so much more impressive than the Cotillard & Co. club noted above — even now that Martin Scorsese is no longer on it.)

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