Cate Blanchett’s time to win the the Best Actress in a Leading Role at the Oscars could come tonight at the Hollywood Dolby Theater. The actress is up for the award for her critically acclaimed performance in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. The Australian Actress has already won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, for her performance as Katharine Hepburn in Scorsese’s The Aviator in 2004, but the Best Actress statuette has eluded her despite being favored to win before. In 1999, Blanchett was the runaway favorite for the Oscar for her role in Elizabeth, a performance in which she brought to life the enigmatic former Queen of England. When Gwenyth Paltrow’s name was announced as the Best Actress winner that year, the buzz in the entertainment press was as much about who did not win as Paltrow’s tears when she did.
In 2008, Blanchett was once more leading the nominations for Best Actress, this time for reprising her role as Elizabeth in Elizabeth: The Golden Age. That time another surprise result was announced as Hollywood newcomer Marion Cottilard won for her turn as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose. It was a disappointing night for the Australian as Blanchett, also went home empty handed for her nomination for I’m Not There in the Best Actress in a Supporting Role category. The previous year, she also missed out on the Best Actress in a Supporting Role Oscar for Notes on a Scandal.
While she certainly deserved to win for those supporting turns, Blanchetts’s abilities as a supporting actress had already been recognized and rewarded with an Oscar. Her worth though as a great leading lady, something she has said she does not believe herself to be, has yet to be valued in Oscar Gold. However, Blanchett’s time to win the Best Actress Oscar is once more being talked about by the Media as being due tonight with certain factors being strongly in her favor. First, she has been overlooked twice for roles she was expected to win for. Second is a factor which may prove to be even more crucial-a director who has brought many a Hollywood leading lady to Oscar glory: Woody Allen.
Woody Allen’s direction of Cate Blanchett as the neurotic, deluded and strangely vulnerable Jasmine, combined with Blanchett’s own sublime versatility and injection of humanity into a thoroughly unlikable woman, has brought to life arguably one of the very best performances given by an actress in recent years. Woody’s touch, which proved golden for Diane Keaton in Annie Hall in the Best Actress category and for Dianne Wiest, a two time winner for Allen helmed movies, Mira Sorvino and Penelope Cruz in supporting roles, may prove to be what separates Cate Blanchett from her fellow heavyweight nominees this year, a group that boasts six wins and 32 nominations between them.
Judi Dench, Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams are about as tough as it gets in the Best Actress field and while Cate Blanchett may be the heavy favorite to win, she knows only too well that being a favorite does not an Oscar winner make. This year though the Allen factor, the years she has been overlooked and her universally acclaimed performance look to be the perfect concoction to make tonight the right time for Hollywood to toast Cate Blanchett as she wins the Best Actress Oscar.
Commentary by Christian Deverille