It’s time once again to go on a Film Journey, and for this article we are focusing on career highlights of actress Cate Blanchett. Cate Blanchett is an Australian actress, born in 1969 in Victoria. She studied at National Institute of Dramatic Art and has had an impressive and varied career; winning numerous awards, including two Oscars and multiple Oscar nominations as well as critical acclaim aplenty. She is versatile, adaptable and, above all, believable.
She has recently added her voice to the important #metoo viral hashtag campaign, releasing a statement rightly commending the women who have shared their stories. In it she says, ‘Any man in a position of power or authority who thinks it’s his prerogative to threaten, intimidate or sexually assault any woman he encounters or works alongside needs to be called to account,’ she said in the statement.
‘It is never easy for a woman to come forward in such situations and I wholeheartedly support those who have.’
If anyone is still asking why the ‘me too’ movement is needed, just one tiny example would be that the c0-writer for Film Journeys had to point out that two of the three films originally picked for this journey of an actress, featured male leads.
Sexism is so deeply rooted in our society that we need to make a conscious effort to tackle it, as such we need to do whatever we can to reach a point where we don’t have to be reminded by a female friend, colleague or partner about these things.
FILM ONE: THOR RAGNAROK (2017)
Our first film is out in UK cinemas from the 24th October, it’s THOR RAGNAROK (2017). It’s the latest Marvel offering and stars Blanchett as the villainous Hela. The story goes … Imprisoned, the mighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.
With the chance to play a baddy in a massive blockbuster such as this, Cate took every chance to just have fun with the role, and let’s face it – who wouldn’t?
It’s sure to be another crow pleasure, as the Marvel films have become known for; but it’s fair to say that comic book action adventure movies aren’t for everyone, and that’s why we have our usual varied selection.
[ for those who want to know: In Norse mythology, Ragnarök is a series of future events, including a great battle, foretold to ultimately result in the death of a number of major figures (including the gods Odin, Thor, Týr, Freyr, Heimdallr, and Loki), the occurrence of various natural disasters, and the subsequent submersion of the world in water. Afterward, the world will resurface anew and fertile, the surviving and returning gods will meet, and the world will be repopulated by two human survivors. Ragnarök is an important event in Norse mythology, and has been the subject of scholarly discourse and theory throughout the history of Germanic studies. ]
FILM TWO: ELIZABETH (1998)
Our second film is one that is quite far removed from the realms of comic book adaptations, it’s ELIZABETH I (1998). It’s a film of the early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England and her difficult task of learning what is necessary to be a monarch. Blanchett plays the young Queen and her performance won her her first Best Actress Oscar.
She went on to play the monarch a second time in ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE (2007), winning a second Oscar. The achievement of being nominated for two Oscars for playing the same character in two different films, is one that only five others have ever accomplished.
Whilst we are suggesting watching the first film, that should not be taken as a slight on the equally watchable second film. If you watch the first and enjoy it, I’d be surprised if you didn’t want to nab the second and watch that pretty much straight away too.
FILM THREE: NOTES ON A SCANDAL (2006)
Our final film today is the impressive and tense drama NOTES ON A SCANDAL (2006). This is the story of a veteran high school teacher that befriends a younger art teacher, who is having an affair with one of her 15-year-old students. However, her intentions with this new “friend” also go well beyond platonic friendship.
It stars Blanchett alongside Dame Judi Dench and is a treat to watch them both; especially worth noting the compelling character created by Blanchett.
This is a gripping film, that moves crisply from one scene to the next. This could have been handled so differently and, thankfully, it wasn’t. The resultant film is one that features two masterful and textured performances from two great actresses.
– Charlotte Grey
– The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
– The Monuments Men