Wed Nov 13,2013
For the second year in a row, we’re delighted to welcome one of the world’s finest actresses of her generation to the Dubai International Film Festival. Arguably Australia’s finest export, Cate Blanchett will be touching down in Dubai again this December as head of the IWC Filmmakers Award jury, which will select a film project from four shortlisted titles to receive a $100,000 grant.
Most recently enthralling audiences for her performance as a fallen Manhattan socialite in Blue Jasmine, hailed as one of Woody Allen’s finest films for years, Blanchett is truly among the world’s acting elite. From ethereal Elven queens to the Queen of England, Blanchett broad range of roles have earned her critical acclaim across the world, picking up two Golden Globes, two BAFTAs and an Academy Award along the way.
Already a sought-after presence on stage and TV in her native homeland, Blanchett’s first major film role came as Elizabeth I of England in the 1998 feature Elizabeth, playing the ruthless Queen in her early years as she put down threats to her reign from at home and abroad. The film brought Blanchett international attention and her first Academy Award nomination, and by the time she reprised the role again in 2006 for the follow Elizabeth: The Golden Age, she was already among the most recognised film stars on the planet.
Following major parts in Mike Newell’s comedy drama, Pushing Tin, supernatural horror The Gift by Sam Raimi, The Talented Mr Ripley as an heiress and alongside Bruce Willis in Bandits, came possibly Blanchett’s most iconic character. For many, she will always be Galadriel, the “the mightiest and fairest of all the Elves that remained in Middle-earth”, in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and now again in Peter Jackson’s three-part adaptation of The Hobbit (even though she didn’t actually appear in the book).
The title role in Joel Schumacher’s biopic of murdered Irish journalist Veronica Guerin earned Blanchett a Golden Globe nomination in 2003, but it wasn’t until the next year that the big one finally landed. Playing actress Katherine Hepburn, the love interest forced to cope with Leonardo DiCaprio’s increasingly neurotic Howard Hughes in The Aviator, was enough to the convince the Academy Award judges that the Best Actress was hers.
But with a golden statuette behind her, Blanchett didn’t feel like slowing down and in 2006 she starred in three films – Babel, The Good German and Notes On A Scandal - all of which were Oscar-nominated. And the following year, her return as Queen Elizabeth saw her herself up for another in the Best Actress category. She was also nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for the Bob Dylan-inspired I’m Not There, becoming only the 11th actor to receive two Oscar nods in the same year.
The Academy Award buzz is already gathering pace for Blanchett’s performance in Blue Jasmine, with many considering her to be a frontrunner. But if even her name isn’t in the golden envelope next February, it’s likely there’ll be many more opportunities over the next few years. Alongside two more Hobbit(ses), there’s the George Clooney-directed WWII drama The Monuments Men, plus two Terrence Malick projects on the way.
Expect all eyes to be on Blanchett in Dubai this December, and with good reason. Because when a star of this calibre picks out the winning film at the IWC Filmmakers Award, you know it’s going to be worth watching.