While most of the filmgoing world probably wouldn't have minded seeing Kate Winslet compete against herself for a Best Actress Oscar next February (at this point we'd do anything to improve her odds), we'd sacrifice that opportunity if it means we get to witness and/or feel the seismic power struggle rocking Winslet's war-crime period piece The Reader. It was about a month ago that Harvey Weinstein cited positive test screenings and a Winslet Oscar push while moving the film's release date up to 2008; alas, as we anticipated, co-producer Scott Rudin probably heard the news right around the same time we did. The resulting squabble can be seen from outer space, but thankfully we've wrangled a closer vantage point than that. We handicap the bloody duel and predict our winner after the jump.HISTORY: Rudin and Weinstein last clashed when Paramount sold Miramax the international rights to The Hours, also helmed by Reader director Stephen Daldry. Everything was fair game to Harvey — Nicole Kidman's prosthetic nose, Philip Glass's score, final cut — and the drama is generally blamed for costing The Hours its Venice Film Festival premiere. But it worked: Kidman won, Glass was nominated, and the $25 million film did more than $108 milion worldwide. EDGE: Even. PRAGMATICS: Whatever version of The Reader test audiences saw last month in New York wasn't the final cut; we hear it's still at least a month away, which plunks cash-strapped Harvey in a late-December marketing and release-date dilemma. Not that he gives a shit just as long as he has an actress to threaten suicide over, but Rudin does care, as well he should — he has Winslet's other Oscar bait, Revolutionary Road, opening Dec. 26 (not to mention Doubt on Dec. 12). EDGE: Rudin. CLOUT: Rudin may be the incumbent Best Picture winner, but he shares co-producing credit on The Reader with the late Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella — the latter of whom was on the very short list of Harvey BFF's before he died last spring. Depending on how the duo's Mirage successors play along, Harvey has enough political juice to hold out for his way. EDGE: Weinstein. MONEY: Weinstein did nicely with Vicky Cristina Barcelona, but not well enough to bet the house on Reader, Shanghai and The Road within a month of each other. And that's not counting the Oscar push, which the Mirage gang will want done right or not at all. EDGE: Rudin. OSCARS: Rudin has Harvey's ex-Miramax miracle workers at his disposal in New York, but even if Winslet is stronger in The Reader, she'll win or lose based on the campaign that DreamWorks mounts for Revolutionary Road. Harvey's cheap ass is counting on the subsequent comparisons, of course — even he doesn't know if he'll be around to pay his own way next year. That strategy might work for Kevin Smith films, but it won't work here. EDGE: Rudin. WINNER: Scott Rudin. The Reader — coming in 2009 to a theater near you!