Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cate's Golden Age

The first time most moviegoers got a look at the now ubiquitous and Oscar-winning Cate Blanchett she was looking unglamourous and plain in Elizabeth as a young woman of noble birth but little ambition. No plans had she to wear a crown. The young actress sported long reddish blonde hair and wore little makeup. Though her face was compelling Blanchett’s star charisma was far from fully formed but then neither was Elizabeth’s identity set. This casting decision made for an exemplary and electric match. Star-making breakthroughs are rare (else every actor would be on the A list) but here’s the most dependable formula: pair a quality actor with a challenging role that both fits like a glove and reflects like a mirror. It’s magical... especially the first time.

The rest is history. Cate Blanchett's Elizabeth was nominated for an Oscar and the young actress soared from relatively unknown to must have Hollywood star --26 films in the past ten years bear the truth of that. Which brings us to Elizabeth and Blanchett reunited in Elizabeth the Golden Age, both several years into their mythmaking runs as queen and star respectively: this glove still fits, the mirror yet reflects. But is the reunion flattering to either woman?

Read the rest of The Golden Age Review
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22 comments:

Kamikaze Camel said...

This movie seems oddly fascinating to me. I may have to go into the cinema expecting a Black Dahlia like situation.

Anonymous said...

so it's camptastic then.

Sam said...

Fingers in ears. La La La La.

For some reason, I'm determined to see this no matter how bad the reviews are.

Anonymous said...

Well there's the expectedly royal pan. Shocking. Yawn.

mikadzuki said...

No Blanchett for me, then. I've been dreading this film since the first way overwrought trailer hit the internet.

Anonymous said...

Quick question that has nothing to do with Cate or The Golden Age. Didn't you see and review Lady Chatterley a few months back? I got a chance to see it this past weekend, it takes foreign movies so f***ing long to make their out here, but anyway, I looked for a review or a grade but couldn't find one. Am I losing my mind?

But back to the post...yeah I thought the movie was unnecessary when I heard about it and thought it looked dumb when I saw the trailer. But if it's 'camptastic' I may have to check it out

NATHANIEL R said...

anon --as much as i'd love to SURPRISE it wouldn't be right to praise a sucky film.

sometimes predictable is the only right thing to do ;)

Kurtis11 said...

I live for Cate Blanchett. I envision her nabbing nominations nearly every year for the rest of her career, a la Streep. (I think you've said that before too, Nathaniel). I'm not that interested in how good or bad "The Golden Age" is, I'm interested in rooting for Cate in the audience.

daveylow said...

I agree with most of your review--especially that the movie seems to directed all at one fever pitch, kind of like ersatz Ken Russell--but I do think Samantha Morton, Abbie Cornish, and especially Clive do manage to make an impression. In Clive's love scene with Cornish, I did begin wonder why Clive doesn't do more love scenes in his films.

I guess the film is going to bomb, which is too bad for Cate. It's not her fault.

Anonymous said...

I still can't wait to see "The Golden Age". It's been on my most-anticipated watch list all year, and these reviews don't change that. I'll get to this and "I'm Not There" as soon as they come to my god forsaken area of the world for La Cate.

adam k. said...

I guess this means there'll be no Elizabeth 3. I always envisioned Cate getting nominated for this, but then only finally winning for the third installment. Oh well.

I do think she still has a shot at the golden globes, though. To be nominated, I mean. Particularly since it's a weak year (at least in drama).

Anonymous said...

OUCH.

Love the double pic of Cate as Elizabeth confronting herself, though; tis very clever (which it sounds like the movie is lacking - both the cleverness and the self-reflectiveness. Too bad.)

RedSatinDoll

Arkaan said...

"anon --as much as i'd love to SURPRISE it wouldn't be right to praise a sucky film."

But... then why did Marie-Antoinette top your list last year? :D

Now, when do we get the I'm Not There review? And does Cate have a chance at getting higher than fourth place at the Film Bitches?

Arkaan said...

And more to the point, that was a great review, Nathaniel.

J.D. said...

I'm not reading it. I'm... just... not. :P

But a question: Is it legitimately comparable to Memoirs of a Geisha in any way, shape, or form? Because if it is-- oh who am I kidding? I'll love this film any which way it is. I don't expect brilliance, I just expect, well, nothing. Which is weird. So that means I probably will love it! I think. I'm so confused...

NATHANIEL R said...

It is much more fun to watch than Memoirs of a Geisha. It's over the top rather than dully epic.

and as I tried to point out... it does know that it's funny. I just don't think it knows HOW funny.

Anonymous said...

I'm keeping Cate Blanchett in for both lead actress and supporting actress this year.

RC said...

good review...this is sort of what i would expect, but of course, you never know.

yet, everytime i've seen a still from the film with Cate in costume...i think...it's all crying out for cate to receive attention. not Q. Elizabeth...no, I think this film is about cate.

NATHANIEL R said...

I think if she gets nominated for both, Oscar is going to take a long break from her. just a gut feeling (like when renée won for Cold Mountain and suddenly nobody cared anymore... a lot of people reach the "enough" stage once they're amply rewarded)

Anonymous said...

She's supposed to take a long break too to work with her husband at that theatre they run in Australia. That doesn't seem to be kicking in yet, but who knows. She still has films in the can to be released. As for the Academy, whether she gets nodded twice this year or not, I think they'll start to treat her like Streep -- give her rote nominations for years, then a dry spell when the roles start drying out for actresses of that "certain age", and then a resurgence when she starts to get the kickass old lady roles and people remember how awesome Cate Blanchett was in the first place.

daveylow said...

I think Cate will continue to work because she doesn't mind taking supporting as well as starring roles and when she doesn't do films she can do theater. I didn't love her Hedda Gabler on stage but she was a powerful presence nonetheless--several screen stars diminish when they do theater.

As far as Oscar goes, they may soon ignore her but I don't think Cate cares in the least.

Anonymous said...

..."several screen stars diminish when they do theater"... did you mean Julia Roberts? I saw her in "Three Days of Rain". It was more like 3 Years of Pain. She was awful as a stage actress. I actually did like Cate's Hedda Gabler. She was great.

Nathaniel, Renee is not Cate. I agree with Daveylow that Cate would really not care about what the academy thinks of her. She just enjoys acting and would take on whatever role she is interested in. For example, she took an uncredited 2 minute cameo role in Hot Fuzz earlier this year. I bet you don't find a lot of Hollywood actress that are of her caliber doing that. Cate is really an actor's actor. Whether or not she wins an Oscar for the Best Actress category, she will continue to work on stage or film for years to come. By the way, her assignment with the Sydney Theater Company starts in January and will last for three years. So after 2008 (she has two more movies due out next year), we won't be seeing Cate's work for at least 2-3 years, unless you want to fly to Sydney to see the plays she and her husband direct.

Ethan