Cate Blanchett is one of the greatest actresses in cinema history and easily the finest of her generation. Like Hepburn and Jane Fonda before her, and alongside the greatest of all time Meryl Streep, Blanchett brings a ferocious intelligence to each role, one that you can see her in her eyes. She gives herself completely over to each part she plays. With honesty and conviction, she makes the role her own, and there is no visible “acting”…she becomes the character.
You could feel the attention going to the screen during that first screening of Elizabeth (1998), you just knew you were watching something astounding happen, an actress had made a huge leap forward, a major career being born. In the years to follow that first Oscar nomination, Blanchett was comfortable with leads and supporting turns, stealing more than one film with her impressive range. She was terrific in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) as the smiling soon to be (no doubt) victim of the serial killer, and then gave a smashing performance as an evil mother-wife with sociopathic tendencies in The Shipping News (2001) one of the most haunting performances I have ever seen. That smile, my God, that terrifying, “I have you” smile is among the most frightening in movies, and yet no one saw the film.
She would balance her work between mainstream studio films with an edge and indies for the next ten years, working with an array of directors which would include Peter Jackson, Tom Twyker, Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, Todd Haynes, David Fincher, Ridley Scott, and Steven Spielberg to name a few.
In that time she would give impressive performances in a number of films, most notably her Oscar winning portrayal of Hepburn in The Aviator (2004), as Galadriel in both The Lord of the Rings trilogy (01-02-03) and again in The Hobbit (12-13), the pioneer woman in the west who goes searching for her kidnapped teen in The Missing (03), the doomed reporter in Vernoica Geurin (03) who came far too close to the Irish mob, as the older teacher who has an affair with a student in Notes on a Scandal (06), again as Elizabeth I in Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), incredibly as Bob Dylan in I’m Not There (07), in The Curious Care of Benjamin Button (08), as Marian in Robin Hood (2010), impressively the Russian villain in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (08), and her award laden work in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine (13) for which she won every major acting award available to her, including the Oscar, the Golden Globe, the SAG Award, and honors from the New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Society of Film Critics. With that series of honors she equalled an honor won by only a select few, including the likes of Jack Nicholson, and Meryl Streep. Here is the list of top Cate Blanchett movies, selected from her impressive filmography. You can watch some of these best Cate Blanchett movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
10. The Shipping News (2001)
Though she has literally a few moments on screen they are unforgettable. As the promiscuous Pedal, who marries, bears a child with a man, and then shamelessly sleeps around with anyone who looks at her, her treachery knows no bounds. With one look she has a man, and then slowly breaks him down. She is a terrifying woman, blessed with beauty, sex appeal and knows how to use them to trap men to do her bidding. She has nothing but contempt for the human race and one sees it in her eyes, and when she attempts to sell her daughter.
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