As Tár arrives in theaters, with Cate Blanchett playing a hubristic genius conductor-composer in a role that seems all but certain to generate yet another Academy Award nomination for the two-time Oscar winner from Australia, it’s an ideal time to take stock of her many remarkable performances and to appreciate her virtually unparalleled body of work.
While Blanchett’s on-camera intuition has been on display since her breakouts in Oscar And Lucinda and Elizabeth, she appears to be getting even better as her career goes on. Blanchett has a particular affinity for women unraveling, à la Notes On A Scandal, Blue Jasmine, and even Galadriel’s briefly demonic moment in the fantastical The Fellowship Of The Ring. But she can also capably handle witty comedy or biographical re-creation (Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator combines both). And few can deliver meaning-laden gestures and understated desire better. (Exhibit A: “I like the hat!”). Here, then, is our countdown of her most essential film roles.