Cate Blanchett’s 13 Best Film Performances: From ‘Carol’ to ‘Tár’

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From the royalty of Elizabeth I to the treachery of Hela, Australian sensation Cate Blanchett is one of the most revered performers of her generation with some of the riveting turns in modern cinema. 

Variety ranks her 13 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 covers the works that the Academy has recognized and not the ones they’ve missed (i.e., “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “Veronica Guerin”).

Her most recent works have still brought the star some of the best reviews of her career notably Guillermo del Toro’s dark take on “Nightmare Alley” (2021) and the splendor of the fictional composer Lydia Tár in Todd Field’s “Tár” (2022).

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.

Read Variety‘s list of Blanchett’s 13 best film performances below, and watch the best scene from each selection.

Honorable mentions: “Babel” (2006), “Bandits” (2001); “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008); “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” (2004); “The Missing” (2003)

Cate Blanchett’s 13 Best Film Performances: From ‘Carol’ to ‘Tár’

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