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Cate Blanchett: five best moments
The Oscar-winning actor is back in the race with the romantic drama Carol but what have her career highlights been?
Friday 27 November 2015 09.58 GMT
Even in the her more questionable choices (coughs, Crystal Skull, ends coughing), Cate Blanchett remains a captivating presence.
In her latest film Carol, a delicate romantic drama from Todd Haynes, she is deservedly picking up Oscar buzz for her role as a housewife who falls for a younger woman in 50s Manhattan, capping off a year that’s seen her play a Disney villain in Cinderella and a tipsy journo in Truth.
With the film finally in cinemas, here’s a look at her finest moments on screen.
Despite a few major opportunities – a supporting role in Paradise Road, a key lead in Oscar and Lucinda – it took Shekhar Kapur’s surprisingly gritty period thriller to announce Blanchett’s arrival. She dominates the film with a performance of great strength and wit, belying her relative inexperience. She picked up an Oscar nomination but lost out to Gwyneth Paltrow’s far inferior turn in Shakespeare in Love.
The Talented Mr Ripley
While every performance in Anthony Minghella’s lush thriller is note perfect, Blanchett’s small yet indelible work is often overlooked. In another actor’s hands, the role of meddling society girl Meredith Logue could have turned into screechy caricature, yet she humanises her, adding a tragic edge and making us keen to know more.
Notes on a Scandal
While many dismissed it as a lurid potboiler, there’s something commendably mean-spirited about this perverse thriller. Judi Dench’s sexually repressed, desperately lonely misanthropist attaches herself to Blanchett’s superficially charming yet ultimately unhinged paedophile teacher, and the two go down in flames. Blanchett, in another Oscar-nominated performance, is hypnotic, giving us an uneasy empathy with a difficult character.
I’m Not There
Another two nominations came her way the following year, one for a grand performance in an underwhelming sequel to Elizabeth and the other for her transformative turn as one of the many Bob Dylans in I’m Not There. Of the starry cast, Blanchett was the most impressive, embodying the singer yet giving more than just a token impersonation.
Woody Allen’s latter-day mediocrity came to a dramatic, albeit brief, halt with his transformative character study of a woman drinking and sweating her way towards a breakdown. Blanchett’s Oscar-winning performance lurches between horror and sadness, making us hate and pity her simultaneously. Despite becoming bigger than the movie around her, she remains grounded.