Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cate, Posterized

We did this with Streisand last month and wasn't it a neat way to snapshot an entire career? For Cate Blanchett, currently "Maid Marion Loxley" in Robin Hood, this overview wasn't as simple. She works so frequently that it had to be narrowed down. This career overview is restricted to films wherein she has a leading role or practically dominates in a barely-not-leading supporting role.

The Wedding Party (1997) | Oscar and Lucinda (1997) | Elizabeth (1998)

An Ideal Husband (1999) | The Gift (2000) | Bandits (2001)

Charlotte Gray (2001) | Heaven (2002) | Veronica Guerin (2003)

The Missing (2003) | The Aviator (2004) | Little Fish (2005)

The Good German (2006) | Notes on a Scandal (2006) | I'm Not There (2007)

Elizabeth the Golden Age (2007) | Benjamin Button (2008) | Robin Hood (2010)

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Questions for you
1. Didn't you immediately miss Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) and The Talented Mr Ripley (1999) while looking at those? Kinda makes you wonder if she was meant to glitter from the ensemble rather than go for the floating head star vehicle like a Veronica Guerin or a Charlotte Gray.
Cate: If only I weren't known as a Supporting Actress
Nathaniel: But y'are Blanche(tt), y'are.
2. How many of these 18 Big Blanchett movies have you seen?
3. Can you describe your feelings for her in 18 words or less? I never can given how much they fluctuate. Try it in the comments.

52 comments:

pomme said...

i don't see "the wedding party","oscar & lucinda" and "little fish"!
i have a trouble with her because i feel no alchemy between her and her male lover usually but may be it's only my feeling.

18 words for Cate B?? great face,great skin,great french voice(i only see her movies in french),great acting & great Dylan!

ferdi said...

I miss also the wonderful comic turn in Coffee And Cigarettes.

I've seen all her film except The Wedding Party.
Her best performance are Notes on a Scandal (deep emotional mood)and I'm not There.
I also love her in Bandits (a very leading lady turn, romantic and funny: she remember The Pfeiffer in this movie) and The Gift.

She is a true chamaleon, though sometimes a bit cold and often too in control of her skills and tecniques. But she is sooo beautiful and she had made perfect career choice.

Her last great perf was I'm Not There... 2007!!! We need her to return to less commercial projects!

Ok, I wrote more than 18 words. Have to add another thing: she is super, but Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore are better than her.

Jose said...

I did miss "Ripley" (even if she isn't even in the poster), didn't remember "Lord of the Rings" curiously.

NATHANIEL R said...

@pomme -- but that's not even her voice right? Don't the French dub everything?

@ferdi -- you missed the 18 words by like a mile. haha

@jose -- interesting. i thought that would be the first thing people were like 'hey. what about...

ferdi said...

Oh Nathaniel! I know!
But you are evil!!!! just 18 words??? Impossible! hahaha

I know you think the same things about Blanchett and her supposed coldness... dont'you?

You really think she's just a supporting actress? Or was it like a provocation?

Anonymous said...

Wow, how boring and generic most of these posters look compared to the Streisand ones. (Not a dig at Blanchett, obviously, but a general comment on movie poster at nowadays).

Lea said...

There also isn´t The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Babel.

I have to admit that I haven´t seen exactly 18 films yet. But I have seen: Robin Hood, Benjamin Button, Elizabeth, Elizabeth – The Golden Age, Notes on A Scandal, The Good German, The Aviator, The Missing, Veronica Guerin, Heaven, Charlotte Gray, Bandits, The Gift, The Lord of The Rings, The Shipping News,

18 words? She is a fantastic actress, has an incredible charisma, incredibly talented, beautiful, mesmerizing voice, has similar cheekbones like Katharine Hepburn.

Hayden said...

I wish she'd do something freaky and spontaneous like her character in Bandits again. I also want Cate Blanchett and George Clooney to star in an update of Woman of the Year. Anything to get her into sexy modern clothes with flattering lighting.

adri said...

"Regular-looking, but talent and success have made her beautiful. She works best with scintillating co-stars and smart scripts".

I've seen 9 of the 18 movies. I liked her best in "The Gift" and "Elizabeth" and least in "Missing" (would that movie never end?)

NATHANIEL R said...

@ferdi -- i guess it was both. It does seem to me that she shines most in films that she doesn't have to carry. My favorite performances by her on large supporting ones like, for example the man who cried, talented mr ripley, the aviator. Maybe it's just bad luck with her solo star efforts but it does seem to me that that's her forte.

@anon1:29 -- ugh. it's so true. I really wish we'd get better posters nowadays. Basically the only thrilling posters anymore are the initial teasers which usually have a bit more graphic sensibility and a bit less "floating celebrity head"

notanotherblog said...

Four. Because I suck.

And I don't wanna sound like a hater, but Cate is like Meryl in a way that most of their leading roles haven't been seminal films. I'll try to see Robin Hood when I get paid, though.

Alex said...

I didn't remember LOTR, maybe just because I usually don't remember that she's in it...and I'm not really a fan. Don't judge.

My favorite Cate performances are by far The Aviator, Notes on a Scandal, and I'm Not There. Oscar and I are on god terms. I like not being angry at Oscar for snubbing my favorite performances. Too bad I'm a die-hard Kathleen Turner fan.

ANYWAY, back to Cate. She really does shine when she has a major, almost leading role, but doesn't have the responsibility of the film on her shoulders. It's much better when that responsibility falls to Leo or Judi...or Dylan himself.

Runs Like A Gay said...

1) Cate has an incredible ability to steal amovie in a supporting rle - simply fantastic in Mr. Ripley, by far the best thing in The Shipping News, even hilarious on the other end of a phone in Hot Fuzz, and it's hard to knock her true leads (Elizabeth, Veronica Guerin) as her performance completely dominates the film. I'd go along with pomme analysis of her alchemy with her male stars - perhaps her brittle and candid style makes her difficult to believe in a romantic role?

2) I've seen 14 so far, coming up short on The Wedding Party, Heaven, Little Fish and Robin Hood (the last will be seen by the end of the weekend). Which of those would I be best advised on catching up on?

3) Techinically dazzling and ultimately classy, Cate can elevate a project by her mere presence on the cast list.

ferdi said...

Runs like a gay:
forget about ROBIN HOOD.
LITTLE FISH is interesting but HEAVEN is mystique and powerful, though the plot is very bizarre. And she is so pure and intense without doing almost nothing.

Cluster Funk said...

Luminescent as Lucinda. Marvelous as Meredith. Luscious as Lola. Awesome as Annie. Kittenish as Kate. Daffy as Daisy.

Cluster Funk said...

P.S. Those aren't her most famous roles, but the ones I don't think she gets enough credit for.

James T said...

She has not decided whether she wants to be an actress or a movie star. She wants both.

Laika said...

A score of 50% - 9 in total.

Natural comedienne with gift for complexity frequently stuck in pallid graveness - like early Streep. Woody Allen film, please?

Laika said...

Plus - loving these 'posterized' features. They're oddly evocative and a lot of fun. Please sir, can we have some more?

joy said...

Don't how to describe my feelings to in 18 words, though i did watched all 18 films. In fact, I actually watched film she did since "Paradise Road" and I'm cant even call myself a huge fan. I like her best when she is exploring emotionality and vulnerability in fiction roles, least when being a precise but cold technician in real-life characters.

My top ten:

1. Little Fish
2. Heaven
3. Oscar & Lucinda
4. The Talented Mr. Ripley
5. The Good German
6. Notes on a Scandal
7. LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring
8. Elizabeth
9. Bandits
10. The Gift

adam k. said...

1) Yes.

2) 6 (not nearly as many as I should have seen)

3) Consistent respect, peppered with occasional love or feelings of fatigue, in roughly equal quantities. My second favorite K/Cate.

(18 words)

Nat, don't forget I'm Not There. Another very prominent supporting role, which I have to assume you still like a lot, given how well it did in your awards. Large supporting roles do indeed appear to be her forte. I don't think it's a coincidence that those are the ones that always win her the most acclaim.

NATHANIEL R said...

@James T -- ooh, I'm loving that observation. I think you're right.

@everyone -- i'm impressed by your 18 word discipline. I guess twitter has taught everyone to say things quickly.

@Laika -- there will be more yes.

@clusterfunk -- awesome 18 words there!

Robert said...

18 words is tough. how about a haiku?

Not famous enough
Does no one notice the range?
Dylan and an elf

badmotherfucker said...

18 words: If my theory holds true that every movie star has a "symbolic ancestor", then she's this generation's Streep!

Caroline said...

Regal. Luminous.

john said...

Picking up on what several others have said...maybe she's a supporting actress trapped in a leading lady's body?!?

Nigel said...

I saw "The Wedding Party" (which went by it's much better original title, "Thank God He Met Lizzie") at a festival screening back when it was released here in Australia.

I'm quite proud of the fact that I was watching Cate Blanchett back when she appeared in the great Australian TV series "Heartland" with Ernie Dingo. I knew she'd be a big star, but no idea how big. This was before "Oscar and Lucinda", so I'd put it at 95 or so.

Jorge Rodrigues said...

I really think you Nathaniel make a very strong point about her being known as a supporting actress...

I find it truly incredible that she gets the ammount of respect we'd only give for a leading lady, however she is not at all one. I think she likes being a supporting player.

Interestingly enough, the first film that wasn't on that list that I thought of was Babel, not LOTR, and that is because of that Leading Lady charisma of hers. I keep forgetting she IS most well-known for her supporting roles.

All in all, she is amazing. If I had to pick someone to be my fake-pretend-Hollywood wife, it would be her. She's got it all: charisma, intelligence, looks and talent.

cal roth said...

Dear Cate Blanchett: you are great most of the time, but Gwyneth Paltrow is better than you and is trashed. This is not fair.

Arkaan said...

Tremendous emotional fluidity. Startling range. Amazing beauty. Generous intelligence. Witty spirit. Away from me for too long.

--

Nathaniel's thought (better as support than lead) is an interesting one. Not sure I agree - she's got such charisma that a great leading role (Elizabeth, Heaven, Notes on a Scandal, Oscar and Lucinda) and she's absolutely stunning.

John T said...

In 18 (slightly nonsensical, but she's so bewitching) words:

Mesmerizing goddess of the elven lake, perched on Oscar’s doorstep, intensely beautiful fashion maven, charming glittery laugh. Elizabeth.

/3rtfu11 said...

All this talk of her being a supporting actress is funny – you do know she’ll eventually win another Oscar! She won’t be joining the ranks of Shelley Winters and Dianne Wiest in being a double supporting winner – like Meryl and Jessica who received their 2nd Oscars in the leading category – so will Blanchett – they’ve been waiting for her to give the performance/role to be reason enough for them to go there.

I have to say this about her movies in general – I don’t like them. She’s often very good in mediocre movies – ala her other Meryl Streep (see She Devil).

Jorge Rodrigues said...

Yes it's true, I also think she'll become a Leading lady. She's more a Meryl Streep than a Dianne Wiest for sure :D

NATHANIEL R said...

/3rtfull -- i don't know about that. I wonder about how often she's going to get lead roles anymore. If you look at the posters (highlighting only her very large roles) her big star vehicles outside of Elizabeth1&2 don't excite people or Oscar and flop at the box office. Only when she is the secondary lead (Notes/Aviator) or the #1 support (I'm Not There) does the public or academy get crazy happy about it.

NATHANIEL R said...

that said i could totally see her winning a second Oscar. I just think it will also be in supporting. Because even when she has a lead role (2nd billed) as she often has, they promote her as supporting: See Notes on a Scandal

Agustin said...

I have only seen 5. The ones I enjoyed her most in: Notes Of a Scandal & Bandits.

Agustin said...

18 word messages sound so cold

/3rtfu11 said...

Nathaniel –

None of these projects have wide commercial appeal. Blanchett fits perfectly well into the ice queen company of Nicole and Gwyneth, she needs material that allows her to be lost in character instead of relying on persona –- she’s a chameleon, a blank canvas –- in this respect I see how a character actress is the conclusion you’ve come to.

As far as continuing to get lead roles – she certainly could if they’re foreign and independent productions – those will get her the momentum for other lead actress nods and possible 2nd win.

Miguel Ángel Santillán said...

Question: Is this Blanchett's entire career? If that's the case, I think you missed 'Babel'.

NATHANIEL R said...

it's just her lead or secondary lead roles. so i figured Babel didn't really qualify given that she doesn't dominate it at all.

MRRIPLEY said...

I have seen them all bar little fish,oscar and lucinda and the 1997 one which was called something else in the uk.

18 words i associate with her - fragile,manners,talented,versatile,choosy,accent,supporting,blonde,aussie,robbed,undeserved,longevity,mimicry,perrenial,serious,porcelain,photogenic,star.

Yavor said...

I’ve seen: Elizabeth, The Gift, Veronica Guerin, The Aviator, Notes on a Scandal, Elizabeth the Golden Age, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Robin Hood; I’ve also seen large parts of I’m not There and Little Fish, I need to revisit both and watch them properly. I’ve also seen the Lord of the Rings and Mr Ripley and Babel of course.
That Charlotte Gray poster looks smashingly beautiful!!!
My favorite Cate leading performance is definitely in Benjamin Button and from what I’ve seen I do think she has great chemistry with her co-leading men;
I do not necessarily see her as a supporting or leading actress but as a very intriguing performer, she’s had very good career choices so far and has piled up a lot of memorable performances, which is something I cannot say about Kate Winslet.
*some of the Gwyneth Paltrow remarks here are hilarious*
I indeed believe the best is yet to come and I know she will have a Best Actress Oscar within the following 5 years.
In 18 words? :
Enigmatic, pale, transparent, aristocratic, empty, a man, a woman, gorgeous, present, versatile, performance-hunter, attention seeker, family oriented, cannot be stopped.
I think when Cate, Kidman and Meryl are ON they are outstanding.
The Woody Allen collaboration hint? A MUST!
You can tell I like her a lot, right?

Ben said...

I've only seen 8 of these, and agree that she's much better in supporting roles. Or, at least, I prefer her in supporting roles (Ripley, Aviator, I'm Not There). For some reason I just can't love her though and I'm not sure whether it's because of some perverse idea stuck in my head that she never really takes risks and never gets any knocks. Everyone seems to love and respect her, so I never get to avidly defend her like I do so often for some of her contemporaries. Strange I know for an actress that is capable of excellence (the interrogation scene in Heaven is stunning), but there it is!

adri said...

I've seen "Robin Hood" and Blanchett is a strong to-cheer-for heroine. Blanchett and Crowe are a perfect match: tough capable characters with loyal hearts.

Visually, the film is beautifully composed. There are parts that are painterly. Blanchett has a very good sense of how to be an element in a visual composition. She understands stillness, and how to use a subtlely stylized movement in a sequence to tell a story. She has great physicality and understands how the camera works.

The sweeping vistas of a barely populated country are fascinating. I was less interested in the machines of war, but the overall re-creation of a historic era is...well, masterly.

It's a perfect summer action entertainment. Not too deep, but not stupid. Effective action, clear plot, good characters, satisfactory resolution.

Deborah said...

Let's see:

Oscar and Lucinda: Very good
Elizabeth: Hated, but this is where I discovered Cate herself, whom I adored despite the crapfest she was in.
Bandits: A movie very dear to my heart. Love, love, love!!
The Aviator: Didn't love her Hepburn caricature, but I'm very fond of the film.

NicksFlickPicks said...

I've seen all of them except Robin Hood, which probably won't change. I don't think of her as a second lead in The Aviator, though.

My 18 Words:
"You're our greatest hope for sensational onscreen returns to Blanche DuBois and Hedda Gabler. Someone find the budget!"

cinephile said...

Wonderful in Mr Ripley, mesmerizing as Elizabeth, good in Robin Hood. Astonishing career boost recently, headlining major studio films. Often gives too controlled or technical performances.

Edd Cort said...

I feel like i will be in love in ten years, she still not convices me

Edd Cort said...

I feel like i will be in love with herr in ten years, she still not convices me

Drew said...

I did miss "Fellowship of the Ring", because I think she did some truly spectacular work in that film.

I saw her last year in a two-night "War of the Roses" event... In act 1 of the first night, she played Richard II and you couldn't take your eyes off her. Unforgettable stage presence and voice work.

In the second night she played Lady Anne, a second fiddle to (the extremely talented) Pamela Rabe's Richard III, and she performed it with such grace and depth, while stepping back into the ensemble to accommodate Rabe's star performance.

So what I'm trying to say is that in the course of the same production, Blanchett shattered the need to be a leading or a supporting actress, because she's clearly both and she's just a consumate performer.

Barry, Milwaukee said...

I've seen 14.

18 words:

I love your jaw...
Your Oscar was deserved...
Please play Tori Amos in the biopic I will write...

Manuel said...

Seen 15 out of 18. But I do miss Mr Ripley where she was so funny and SO good. Its cool to know that Minghella made up her character and bigger because he fell in love with her

Elizabeth, Notes on a Scandal, Im not there and Coffe and Cigarettes are my favs of her

She dos not need another Oscar but she needs to choose working with low budget movies with Aronofsky, Herzog, Lars von Trier and Cuaron

18 words: intelligent, gorgeous, respected, fashion icon, versatile, risky, husky voice, theater, loyal, quality, camelon face, humble, dedicated