From the royalty of Elizabeth I to the treachery of Hela, Australian actress Cate Blanchett celebrates her birthday on May 14, and Variety is counting down her 10 best performances of her career (thus far).
Beloved by critics, audiences and awards bodies, Blanchett has displayed a career that aspiring actors dream about. From the beginning of her career, we knew we were witnessing one of cinema’s most gifted actresses. Getting her start in smaller, independent projects such as Cherie Nowlan’s “The Wedding Party” and Gillian Armstrong’s “Oscar and Lucinda,” it was her masterful turn in Shekhar Kapur’s “Elizabeth” that wowed the cinematic world, earning her the first of many Oscar nominations she would receive.
After portraying a different type of Queen, Katharine Hepburn, the Queen of the Oscars, in Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator,” she won her first Academy Award for best supporting actress. With more memorable and stunning performances that would garner nominations, such as her work in Richard Eyre’s “Notes on a Scandal,” Todd Haynes’ “I’m Not There” and Kapur’s sequel “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” she would win an undeniable Oscar for best actress in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” in 2014. Her last nomination to date was the titular character, re-teaming her with Haynes once again for “Carol,” alongside an equally invigorating Rooney Mara. That just covers the works that the Academy has recognized, and not the ones they’ve missed (i.e., “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “Veronica Guerin”).
She also has exhibited extraordinary work in films that weren’t recognized. Still, it is worth noting her work in the television sector with limited series such as “Bordertown” with Hugo Weaving, “Stateless” with Yvonne Strahovski, and most recently, “Mrs. America,” which earned her two Emmy nominations as a producer and lead actress in a limited series or movie.
Blanchett has a smorgasbord of projects ahead. She’ll be part of Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s next two projects, including his remake of “Nightmare Alley” from Searchlight Pictures with Bradley Cooper and his animated dark re-telling of “Pinocchio.” She also has a role in Adam McKay’s upcoming apocalyptic dramedy “Don’t Look Up” from Netflix, alongside fellow Oscar winners Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep. She also has James Gray’s “Armageddon Time” with Robert De Niro, Eli Roth’s “Borderlands” with Jack Black and the upcoming miniseries “Brideshead Revisited” with Ralph Fiennes on her future slate.
In honor of her 52nd birthday, we ranked her best performances down below.
Honorable mentions: “Babel” (2006), “Bandits” (2001), “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008), “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” (2004), “The Missing” (2003)