Born on May 14, 1969, this Australian actress turns 45 today. She has not only bagged two academy awards but also achieved 3 BAFTA Awards, 3 Golden Globes, and 2 Critics Choice Awards. Recently Blanchett won an Academy ward for her movie Blue Jasmine which means the younger generation will be familiar with her work for the first time. Prior to this, Cate Blanchett has been relatively absent from the film industry, devoting her time instead to the Sydney Theater Company which she co-directed with her husband for six years. Apart from her classics like The Lord of The Rings trilogy, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and The Aviator (2004), for which she won her first Academy Award, Blanchett’s greatest performances can be found in lesser-known, independent movies that the mainstream audience tend to overlook. Below is a list of 6 the most captivating screen appearance she has ever made:
1) Jude in I’m Not There. (2007)
In Todd Haynes’ wildly inventive “biopic” of Bob Dylan, Blanchett owns the film as a version of the musician during his electric years. Since the film isn’t told in a linear fashion, audiences didn’t bother to see it, but within seconds it becomes clear that Blanchett is the only performer — male or female — who could have played this role.
2) Cate and Shelly in Coffee and Cigarettes (2003)
Coffee and Cigarettes is an anthology film by Jim Jarmusch, and in one of the vignettes entitled “Cousins,” Blanchett stars opposite herself as both Cate and Shelly, two wildly different cousins who reunite over a cup of coffee. Blanchett’s exhibition of an incredible range of emotions not only make the movie believable but also watchable.
3) Charlotte Gray in Charlotte Gray (2001)
Blanchett is seen as a lovely young Scottish woman who joins the French Resistance during WWII to find her boyfriend who is lost in France. Blanchett matches her with a performance that feels so authentic we almost forget she’s acting at all.
4) Veronica Guerin in Veronica Guerin (2003)
In this true story, Blanchett plays Veronica Guerin, an Irish journalist who was murdered by drug dealers when she exposed their crimes in her articles. This is a heartbreaking tale about an ordinary hero, and Blanchett’s riveting turn pays proper homage to Guerin while simultaneously allowing her legacy to live on in the hearts and minds of those fortunate enough to who watch this courageous film.
5) Sheba Hart in Notes on a Scandal (2006)
Blanchett goes toe-to-toe with acting legend Judi Dench in this taut psychological drama about a teacher (Blanchett) who has an affair with a student and is found out by one of the senior teachers (Dench) at the school. Few films are as impeccably acted as this, and during the film’s intense, climactic showdown, Blanchett shows a side of herself that audiences haven’t seen since.
6) Tracy in Little Fish (2005)
Blanchett is riveting as a drug addict struggling to rebuild her life in this excellent Australian drama. Those who marveled at Blanchett’s ability to confront addiction head-on in Blue Jasmine might be surprised to find that she’s just as fierce in Little Fish, a film that might have earned her a Best Actress Academy Award if it were more popular in the United States.