Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth

Fabulous Cate Blanchett received her first nomination for playing the legendary queen of England, Elizabeth I, which is one of the most brilliant roles that an actress get ever get (just see which actresses played her). However, in Elizabeth we don't see the strong and merciless queen until the very end of the movie, we rather get to know an inconfident girl who has to deal with the unexpected responsibility, the possibility of marriage, vicious enemies and above all, a ruined and weak England.

Elizabeth is a brilliantly made movie of rarely seen quality. The technical part of the movie is one-of-a-kind and simply breathtaking. The editing, the cinematography, the art direction, the costumes and the catchy music are really impressive. However, the best thing about Elizabeth is the unforgettable acting ensemble. Geoffrey Rush should have received a nom for his role as Sir Walsingham (instead of Shakespeare in Love). His performance is very subtle and simply great. Joseph Fiennes gives a reliable, good performance and so does Richard Attenborough, John Gielgud and so on.

Yet, this movie is the one-woman show of Cate Blanchett, playing her first significant role. Although she was not a big star at all at the time, she had as much confidence as she has today. She shows every possible face of Elizabeth, making her a truly unique, exciting character, one you care about, but never truly like. She masterfully deals with all the emotions and knows exactly well what the audience can handle at the time.

In her frist scene, we see a naive young girl dancing and having fun with her friends. We can almost touch her fear and desperartion, but also her courage in the scenes when she's sent to prison and after all the dignity which she handles her new state with. We can feel that this woman will be a great monarch, but Blanchett perfectly show how immature Elizabeth is at the beginning and how much she lacks self-confidence.

The best thing about this performance is probably Blanchett's magnetic and flaming on-screen presence, which is so strong, that she does not only commands the screen, she becomes a true dictator or if you like it, a queen with absolute power. It's so marvellous, that Cate Blanchett also transforms as her character develops. Blanchett plays her in many different ways, she never repeats herself, her talent flows like a river. I can't think about any other performance which is as strong as Blanchett in Elizabeth.

And I also love that she puts very much humor and irony into this performance, I especially loved her bitchy one-liners, despite the fact that I am not a big fan of on-screen bitchiness. And Blanchett also nails it. If I had to pick the higlight of this performance, I cannot really think about one. Her whole thing is the highlight, but if I really had to choose one, it would be probably her monologue about how religion divided England. It's not a coincidence that it was her Oscar clip as it was just breathtaking. However, her breakdowns are also worth mentioning.

It's interesting that although this performance is loved and respected by nearly everyone, and almost nobody likes her in the sequel. I also loved her in that one, but that's a different story. We just have to agree that in Elizabeth, she's not a dynamite, she's a nuclear bomb.

So, to sum up, I got the performance I've been waiting, hoping, praying for. This year has been so weak so far and it was so refreshing to see breathtaking, gutwrenching, tearjerking, exciting and dignified acting on screen. Excellent work by an amazing talent.
Were you also this amazed by great Cate or you simply despised her? Tell me in your comments that I am EAGER to read.

There's only Fernanda Montenegro left, whom I watch in about two hours. I reveal the results on Thursday.

1 comment:

Fritz said...

I certainly agree with you! Very strong work and she was very close to get a full 5 from me, too.