GREAT PERFORMANCES YOU MAY NOT HAVE SEEN:
An Ideal Husband (an almost ideal British upper-class wife)
The Talented Mr. Ripley (wealthy American traveler Meredith)
Pushing Tin (New Jersey housewife of John Cusack)
Veronica Guerin (crusading Irish journalist)
Coffee and Cigarettes (dual role as herself and her haggard, jealous cousin)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (SAG-nominated)
The Aviator (Oscar-winning as Kate Hepburn, Golden-Globe-nominated)
I’m Not There (Golden Globe winning performance of Jude, a version of Bob Dylan)
Notes on a Scandal (Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe-nominated)
Elizabeth (Golden Globe-winning, Oscar-nominated)
Elizabeth: The Golden Age (Golden Globe-nominated)
Veronica Guerin (Golden Globe-nominated)
Bandits (Golden Globe-nominated)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
The Lord of the Rings trilogy
THE REAL CATE:
Not Elizabeth or Aviator...
Though she did an amazing job of channeling last century’s greatest actress, this Cate seems far from the headstrong, confident, even brash women she most famously plays. It’s actually the portrayal of the quiet, sensitive parts of those women where Cate shines, leaving us with unforgettable portraits, but not of herself.
Royal. Cate’s whispers are as forceful as her shouts and there are enough of both to entertain those of us who would love to see her in a play. Like the other greats, Blanchett can disappear utterly in her roles(even as Bob Dylan). Though she doesn’t have exactly the WASP lines, like Meryl Streep her physical eccentrities only enhance her appearance and still do not detract from her patrician style.
Patrician? Clearly, upper class doesn’t quite describe it. Unlike Streep, Blanchett has proved she can play royalty. And in her two outings as QE I, she isn’t just the stony figure of paintings; she runs the gamut of emotions, making us truly feel the uneasiness that bears the crown.
Even more difficult, and clearly more rewarding, is the portrayal of Katherine Hepburn, in “The Aviator,” for which she won an Oscar. The rather bizarre honor of being the only person to win an Oscar for playing an Oscar-winner – though that’s about as inbred a distinction as one can gild. Still, though, it’s proof that others were watching for a stumble or even a slight fault, and there was none.
What’s the test for proving you are the next Meryl Streep? Playing Oklahoma housewives? Let’s hope not. There is too much magic in the British/American upper-classes, and too many great classical works still to be redone, to bother with the hoi polloi.
BITS AND QUIRKS:
Not many if any. The consummate actress, she disappears in her roles as do her bits. There is the faraway dreamy look. The crooked wry smile, often combined with sad eyes and half a pout. The fiery stare is a good one, too.
The love scenes with Joseph Fiennes > Emerging in white face as “The Virgin Queen”
ELIZABETH 2 -
On horseback in armor, addressing the troops > Jealous rage over Bessie and Raleigh > Screaming at the Spanish ambassador
Playing golf with Leonardo as Howard Hughes > The dinner table scene with Kate’s family
I’M NOT THERE -
Hanging out with the Beatles
Recovering in the family’s house
AN IDEAL HUSBAND -
The tea party scene > The series of denouments with her husband
COFFEE AND CIGARETTES -
Playing herself and her jealous cousin
THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY -
The awkward café scene with Gwyneth Paltrow
GO TO THE... CATE BLANCHETT BIO