Cate Blanchett won her first ever Academy Award for Blue Jasmine, just last year. As the Oscars, continues to surprise and thrill us forevermore, it would be the perfect time to dive headstrong into drama. Blanchett is no ordinary actress: for many years, she has served as the artistic director of an upstate theatre company in Australia, the Sydney Theatre Company. She first came aboard the drama enclave, with Oleanna, and since then rose from a debut artist to a an expert at throwing numerous serial productions, totalling to 13, as well as taking care of 5 seasons of show productions at the company.
If you have ever been to the Globe Theatre, you would know just how magical theatre productions can be – they are totally different to a captivating cinema experience, because the performances are live, and as a member of the audience it’s hard to imagine that you will be bowled over by the performances in equal measure, as you would perhaps a medieval drama, onscreen. But back here in England, we know a thing or two about putting on a good show in someone else’s shoes and attempting to aid you in identifying with the characters and the plotlines.
Numerous of Blanchett’s productions have even gone on tour in the United States, which is interesting because that is a tradition we lack so finely here, and for very good reason. We cannot imagine anyone in America would be interested in a medieval, accurate and far too passionate edition of The Tempest taking Broadway by storm – you can see how we understand the importance of stage musicals but still lose the plot, over its overarching sensibility in our shores, apart from maybe having a ball catching a very good show, once in a while – you cannot imagine how horrendous some of the tour setlists can be, and not just for music.
Speaking of Hollywood, she has gone from strength to strength, with her roles, whether you want to talk about the glittering film based on the life of our past great monarch, Elizabeth I by Shekhar Kapur or as a captivating swan of sorts in The Lord of the Rings adaptation by Peter Jackson. Rising from relative randomness, as just another aspiring actress must have been tough: Cate was born in Ivanhoe, a suburb in the capital of Australia, and she was a little bit of a talkative wallflower, if you please, when she reached her growing up years. But she did experiment with androgynous fashion at one point when attending Methodist Ladies College, where she also discovered her hidden love for acting.
Numerous trips abroad aside, she has managed to earn critical appraise for her roles, developing a sort-of an interesting standout persona for her work in gripping dramas, more often not, having their own spattering of stars. To hold your own amongst them is challenging indeed, but to actually break free from it all and win an Academy Award for a particularly sordid women-centric drama, must have been a rewarding retrospect to her work. This acknowledgement, I believe, is very well deserved because if you take a look at the film, you will see why: Blue Jasmine is a dark comedy by Woody Allen.
An affluent socialite from Manhattan, Jasmine hits hard luck, which becomes displeasing and intensively uncomfortable to her. She is known to attract unwanted attention for constantly muttering under her breath publicly, and has to move in with her sister, Ginger, who is known to pass off snide remarks over her wealth status and her lifestyle, which is a threshold higher than Ginger’s average income and her rent-controlled apartment. Attempting to piece back her life together, she constantly fails at it, going back to her wildly expensive habits, despite her current “broke” financial status.
After divorcing her husband, for repeated infidelity and reporting him to the FBI for his fraudent misdealings, that eventually leads to his arrest, her life derails when her new romantic liason with a diplomat, sours over the discovery that she has a stepson, that Jasmine deliberately hid from him, in the hope that she could bury her miserable past experiences and constant romantic stories encircling her, during her toughest days. However, Dwight, the fellow she was to be engaged to, who even bought an engagement ring to propose to her with, drops the proposal, like a “hot potato” after Ginger’s ex-boyfriend publicly attacks her, teary-eyed, holding her responsible for her sister’s affair falling apart because she never did publicly approve of him much.
Jasmine eventually moves out of Ginger’s house and claims that she is going to marry Dwight, and ends up on a park bench muttering to herself again, awaiting for her belongings from her sister’s house to come back to her once more. Refreshingly comedic as the film was, to get under the skin of any character Cate plays is something else – she actually likes to defy convention when portraying a Victorian lady, she would probably play her as Edwardian, but some of those odd-tastic personalities do exist in this world, believe it or not! Charming! And might I add, she is still the pretty wallflower, who only blossoms in a talented manner, with every film she graces diligently and perfectly gracefully!