For an actress that came to the international film arena just before the turn of the century, Cate Blanchett has built an impressive resume that defies definitions, apart from the fact that each of her characters is a strong no-nonsense woman and that physically, she has a commanding presence. When she's in the room (or screen) you can't take your eyes off of her.
Born in Melbourne, Australia in 1969, Blanchett caught Gillian Armstrong's eye and was immediately working for her in Oscar and Lucinda. What came after was a tireless series of performances that secured her image as one of the best actresses on the planet. Of course, this has led her to be nominated (and win) numerous worldwide awards. Her Oscar as Best Supporting Actress playing Katharine Hepburn, and her turn as Jasmine in Woody Allen's 2013's film have been lauded unanimously.
Among her best performances, she's been in Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr. Ripley, Sam Raimi's The Gift, Joe Schumacher's Veronica Guerin, Lasse Hallstrom's The Shipping News, Steven Soderberg's The Good German, Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, apart from her latest work for George Clooney in The Monuments Men.
The following 10 performances singled out in the "More Photos" section, have an indelible staying power and give proof of Cate Blanchett's extraordinary talent and film persona.
And now that you're at it, check on the other award season nominated actresses:
(1998) Directed by Shekhar Kapur. Nobody was ready to witness a new actress unravel her power through a regal performance that is a role model to all new actresses. Suddenly Blanchett caught the world by storm and won, among others, a Bafta, a Golden Globe and her first Oscar nomination (stolen by new American sweetheart Gwyneth Paltrow). She embodied Elizabeth with such ferocious strength that producers and director saw the need for a part 2, which is a rarity for a biographical costume drama.
(2013) Written and Directed by Woody Allen. Jasmine is a woman who struggles so much to be where she thinks she belongs, but has to face the fact that deceit and misery is ready for her. Obviously based on Tennessee Williams’ Blanche Dubois, and with a naiveté that also reminds us of that other beautiful Woody Allen character Cecilia (from The Purple Rose of Cairo), Jasmine is the definition of a Tour-de-force performance that requires a delicate restraint to control the characters fall into overtly dramatic registers. After all, she’s been deceived by her husband, abandoned by her son, and welcomed by the people she’s always despised.
For a full review of Woody Allen's latest Oscar Nominated film, please click on the following link:
(2004) Directed by Martin Scorsese. Actors can create an all-new character from pieces of others and their inner beliefs, or they can take an existing person and reinvent it, giving it back to the audience with a flavor of memories. Cate’s version of Katharine Hepburn, apart from her vocals and dresses and body language, exudes that aura of an untouchable Hollywood star, almost like a semi-God living in her own piece of Mount Olympus. It was obvious the Academy would give her the award as a supporting actress.
Notes on a Scandal
(2006) Directed by Richard Eyre. As the subject of Judi Dench’s ominous Barbara Covett, who finds in her the perfect lover in a destructive unwanted relationship, Cate’s Sheba Hart breaks down to her most frail independent character. A woman who surrenders to hidden passions and has to face a double attack, not without a pivotal primal scream scene. Once again Cate was nominated for Best Supporting actress.
I'm Not There
(2007) Written and Directed by Todd Haynes. A one-of-a-kind film that takes 6 different actors to create a version of Bob Dylan’s public persona. Blanchett is not only the only woman to become Dylan in the film, but the one who resembles him more physically, which, at certain moments made you dizzy, watching her introverted and mysteriously androgynous presence. There’s no denying that Blanchett has become a daring actress in the commercial world of cinema nowadays.
Oscar and Lucinda
(1997) Directed by Gillian Armstrong. Before her international success with Elizabeth, Cate starred in this Gillian Armstrong’s very elegant film with Ralph Fiennes. Everybody was asking “Who’s that actress next to Fiennes and why is she so exquisite?”
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
(2001-2002-2003) Directed by Peter Jackson. How can you stand out in a trilogy that is CGI infected, filled with men and strange creatures, and with a story that doesn't have much to do with your character? Well, if you're Cate Blanchett, you don't have anything to worry about. Galadriel’s ethereal aura of goodness is brought to visual splendor by Cate, with a soothing and commanding voice. Suddenly, you wanted all angels to look like her.
(2001) Directed by Gillian Armstrong. Her second collaboration with Armstrong gave her the chance to play spy (something she would return to for Soderberg in The Good German). But as with any of Armstrong’s films, Charlotte is a strong figure, not a tragic one, which is one of Cate’s signature traits.
(2002) Directed by Tom Tykwe. Krzystof Kieslowski was the first director to plan his films based on groups (just like Eric Rohmer did before). He unfortunately passed away before shooting of his next trilogy. Heaven was the first one and it gave Blanchett a role of controversial repercussions when her character Philippa goes from being a woman seeking revenge to a public criminal.
(2006) Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu. Holding herself in a choral film that runs around the World to see how we are all connected, Blanchett is the one who takes the bullet and has to suffer the physical consequences, in a marriage that seems headed to disaster, not knowing her children are lost with her Mexican nanny and feeling lost and frail in a cold world.