Why Cate Blanchett Deserved That Oscar
When hype began to escalate, just prior to the Golden Globes, over Cate Blanchett’s role in Woody Allen’s ‘Blue Jasmine’, even this avid film-goer wasn’t sure what to make of it. First of all, a Woody Allen movie? Sure, the director’s films are usually of high standard, but they can start to seem a bit same-ole, same-ole, so why all the buzz about this particular flick?
Upon viewing the film for the first time a few weeks ago, I realised what all the fuss was about. In fact, let’s not call it ‘fuss’ or ‘hype’ but instead highly deserved praise over one of the most astonishing roles ever to be portrayed in cinema by a male or female actor.
Cate Blanchett’s character – that of a high society debutante who falls from grace, loses all her money and is suddenly forced to get used to the ‘low’ life – goes through so many arcs in ‘Blue Jasmine’ that the viewer is left wide-eyed and jaw-slacked by the time the end credits start to roll.
Forget having to cope with multiple personality syndrome, or even bipolar disorder, Jasmine really doesn’t know if she’s Arthur or Martha in her topsy-turvy world.
Her emotions run the gamut from elated to depressed within minutes. One moment she looks like getting her life together, conducting the most menial of tasks, then suddenly she’s being traumatised and molested by her boss.
At the start of one scene, she appears keen on her studies but by the end of it she’s downing pills and Stoli cocktails.
She goes to a party, meets an eligible bachelor that looks like the one who might turn her life around, but suddenly becomes a whole new person, making up more and more lies as the relationship builds, that even she doesn’t know who she is by the time her tall tales come crumbling down.
But besides having to chop and change her personality in this film more times than Sybil, which is enough to impress audiences, it’s the sheer volume of dialogue that Cate/Jasmine has to deliver to tell her tortured rags-to-riches story, her incessant banter filling every scene. Even when she’s on her own, the tragic soul is talking to herself or to some ghost.
And that’s the real reason Cate Blanchett is deserved of her second golden statue – because carrying over three-quarters of a film’s dialogue is a challenge even the most seasoned of actors would feel exhausted by. And yet there’s a swag of films she completed within months after – all of which we’re waiting with bated breath to see.
Here are some of the main winners at this year’s Oscars:
Best Picture >> 12 Years a Slave
Best Actress in a Leading Role >> Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role >> Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role o >> Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
Best Animated Feature >> Frozen
Best Cinematography >> Gravity
Best Costume Design >> The Great Gatsby
Best Directing >> Gravity
Best Foreign Language Film >> The Great Beauty (Italy)
Best Production Design >> The Great Gatsby
Best Adapted Screenplay >> 12 Years a Slave
Best Original Screenplay >> Her