The Popcorn Reel Star Focus: Cate Blanchett

      Blanchett-ing out to broader horizons

  Cate Blanchett on the big screen in some films arriving in the next few weeks: "Babel", "The Good German" and "Notes On A Scandal"


Photo of The Last King of Scotland,  Cate Blanchett

The 2005 Academy Award winner is all smiles at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Last King of Scotland" in September.  
 (Photo: Jean-Paul Assenard/Wire Image)


Cate Blanchett has been on a tremendous roll during the last 18 months.  In early 2005 she triumphed at the 77th Academy Awards, winning best supporting actress honors for her role as Katharine Hepburn in "The Aviator".  Blanchett also won the British Academy of Film and Television Award for the role, and repeated the feat at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in Hollywood.  Earlier this year she starred in "Little Fish", about a suburban woman in Sydney whose life comes undone following a drug deal in which she is involved.  And in "Babel", which opens in expanded release in the U.S. this week, she appears with Brad Pitt as part of an ensemble cast in the new film directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.  In December, North American moviegoers will get a chance to see the Australian in two larger roles in the films "The Good German", a World War II drama directed by Steven Soderbergh, starring George Clooney and Tobey Maguire, and "Notes On A Scandal", a drama about adultery and other betrayals in which Dame Judi Dench stars. 

The 37-year-old actor has been busy, which means that work on the big screen is in abundance.  Aside from her role in high profile fare like Peter Jackson's "Lord of The Rings" trilogy, Blanchett has also been in little-seen films like "Veronica Guerin" (2003), in which she played a real-life investigative reporter in Ireland who bravely digs for the truth about crime and corruption in a notorious Irish crime family -- and pays for her job with her life.  The true story, which called the world's attention to the everyday dangers faced by investigative journalists around the world when doing their work, was directed by Joel Schumacher. 

Next year, Blanchett is slated to appear in several films, including Todd Haynes' "I'm Not There" about people who take on various personas of the legendary folk rocker Bob Dylan, and "The Golden Age" in which Blanchett reprises the role of Queen Elizabeth I, that she played in the 1998 film "Elizabeth".  Shekhar Kapur directed both "Elizabeth" films.                                                                                           (CONTINUED BELOW)

Babel Movie Stills: Cate Blanchett, Brad Pitt, Gael Garcia Bernal, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Clockwise from top: Cate Blanchett in "Babel" (Photo: Paramount Vantage); With Tobey Maguire and George Clooney (center) in "The Good German"
(Photo: Melinda Sue Gordon/Warner Brothers); With Dame Judi Dench in "Notes On A Scandal" which opens in North America on December 22  (Photo: Fox Searchlight). 



The actor, whose performances have received wide acclaim has also spoken out on several issues.  For example, Blanchett was quoted in one 2005 interview on the state of plastic surgery and women: "I see someone's face, someone's body who'd had children and I think they're the song lines of your experience, and why would you want to eradicate that? I look at people sort of entombing themselves and all you see is their little pin holes of terror... and you think, just live your life, death is not going to be any easier just because your face can't move." 

Blanchett has also gone on record about her own native country's racial strife, returning to Australia last December to address the race-riots between white Australians and Lebanese-Australians in Sydney and on the beaches of that city and surrounding areas.  "It's actually very clear and simple. Violence and racism are bad. Whenever they occur they are to be condemned . . . we should not turn a blind eye to them.  It's about respect.  Respect for others, respect for the rights of others and respect of the rights of everyone to go about their lives in a peaceful way."

Cate Blanchett's career keeps rising -- and her versatility continues to grow.  Along with fellow country compatriots Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts, she is sure to continue her ascendancy, not just in the role of Queen Elizabeth, but through the varying of the horizons and directions in which she stretches an already highly successful and rewarding career.


Cate Blanchett in First Look Pictures' Little Fish                  Cate Blanchett in Touchstone's Veronica Guerin
Left: Cate Blanchett in "Little Fish", a film released in select theaters in North America earlier this year.   Right: in "Veronica Guerin", a film based on a true story about the Irish
 journalist who is assassinated when digging for the truth about the Irish mob in Northern Ireland.  (Photo: Touchstone)

Published: November 2006


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