Kate Winslet makes Rose’s deep dissatisfaction with her tight-corseted life empathetic for the audience, even when she is bratty. One notable scene takes place at a fancy meal before she attempts to jump off the back of the boat. “Outwardly, I was everything a well brought up girl should be. Inside, I was screaming,” older Rose narrates.
You can almost hear those screams in her vacant, forlorn stare into the distance. Her loneliness in the middle of a crowded room is clear and mirrors how everyone has felt at one point in their lives. Winslet’s big blue eyes are the window into her character’s soul. You can see them shift from hollow boredom to twinkling excitement whenever she is with Jack.
Winslet flawlessly illustrates the well-mannered mask that Rose wears in her upper-class society and how it slips in Jack’s presence. She uses her body to convey how Rose is torn between two worlds. As much as she yearns for the freedom Jack has, she cannot easily shed her refined upbringing. This appears in small, haughty gestures and her straight-laced walk. When Jack asks if she loves Cal, Rose calls him “rude and uncouth and presumptuous.” No one in first class is ever so direct with their words.
Only a skilled actress such as Winslet could authentically present Rose’s internal struggle to break free of the aristocratic chains that bind her. Beneath her thoughtful expressions and careful movements, you can see the fire of rebellion that Jack loves so much about her. It flickers inside of Rose and slowly grows.