• Will you agree with our ranking of modern acting great Cate Blanchett? (SBS News)Source: SBS News
Don't even try to argue with us...
Jeremy Cassar

8 Sep 2016 - 1:38 PM  UPDATED 9 Sep 2016 - 11:30 AM

Is there such a thing at being a little too good at your job? If so, Cate Blanchett continues to suffer such an indignity. Measured and meticulous, it’s almost as if our Cate is beyond the point of technically perfect. She's delivered some of the most stunning performances of the last two decades and shows no signs of slowing down.

Here are her top 30 performances, in indisputable order...


30. The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit trilogies (2001-2014)

Strange, deep voice. Big head in the sky. She deserved better.

Read SBS Movies' reviews here.


29. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

Cate Blanchett can say “I was in an Indiana Jones film”, and she got to wear a pretty cool hat. We’re guessing they were the two main draw cards.

Read SBS Movies' review here.


28. Little Fish (2005)

While Cate’s performance was pretty good, the film was a condescending gloom-fest and we’d rather not think of it again.

Read SBS Movies' review here.


27. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

It was fine. Problem here was the script and Fincher’s prosthetics fetish, not her performance. Not much possibility for dimension here.


26. The Monuments Men (2014)

One of the rare times Blanchett’s accent received considerable backlash from critics and audiences alike. Yet she was still far better than the film.

Read SBS Movies' review here.


25. Hanna (2011)

A film that never lived up to its nail-biting trailer, yet let us see now-veteran Blanchett play against a young actress with an air of Cate – Saoirse Ronan.

Read SBS Movies' review here.


24. Robin Hood (2010)

What the hell was going on in this film? We know Blanchett was decent, but we honestly can’t remember a single thing about it.

Read SBS Movies' review here.


23. Heaven (2002)

Blanchett made this film by Tom Tykwer, the director of Run Lola Run, worthwhile...

Watch The Movie Show's review here.

Then watch it on SBS On Demand:


22. Bandits (2001)

A fun role played against and in between bank robbers Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton, Blanchett is a jaded housewife who falls for both men.

Watch The Movie Show's review here.


21. The Gift (2000)

A great performance in a pretty good Sam Raimi film, demonstrating a reaction prowess up there with the best horror leading ladies.


20. Cinderella (2015)

A walk in the park for Blanchett, but makes up for what was lacking in those Tolkien roles.


19. Charlotte Gray (2001)

Another in Blanchett’s "Accent Series", where her Scottish Charlotte joins the French revolution in order to save her boyfriend.

Watch The Movie Show's review here.


18. The Good German (2006)

A juicy homage to Greta Garbo that critics loved to bash, but watching Blanchett knowingly chew scenery was a treat.


17. Coffee And Cigarettes (2003)

An obscure entry that sees Cate acting against herself, proving that Cate Blanchett is equally as talented as Cate Blanchett.

Watch it on SBS On Demand:


16. The Missing (2003)

A neat little suspense thriller from Blanchett’s early Hollywood days sees her going toe-to-toe with Tommy Lee Jones as the mother of a missing child.

Watch The Movie Show's review here.


15. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

Armed with an over-the-top English accent, Blanchett plays around in Wes Anderson's world.

Read SBS Movies' review here.


14. Babel (2006)

Before Birdman and The Revenant, Iñárritu was into misery porn, and Babel gives Blanchett the chance to ramp up to acting with a capital A.


13. The Shipping News (2001)

An oldie but a goodie, with some fantastic character creation from Blanchett. Child-like, unpredictable, and the highlight of an already star-studded film.


12. Truth (2015)

A much-criticised film compensated by a vocal following swept up in Blanchett’s performance.


11. Oscar and Lucinda (1997)

The role that landed her Elizabeth... young Blanchett went head-to-head with veteran Ralph Fiennes - and equaled if not bettered his efforts.

Watch The Movie Show's review here.


10. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

Blanchett forgoes her usual power in a small yet charming role as a giggly socialite who flutters in and out of Ripley’s life.

Read SBS Movies' review here.


9. Veronica Guerin (2003)

As the real-life crime reporter Veronica Guerin who was murdered by a drug organisation, Blanchett does an Irish accent justice.

Read SBS Movies' review here.


8. Thank God He Met Lizzie (1997)

Kudos to Blanchett’s infectious performance as the down-to-earth bride-to-be. Remains one of her most natural and naturalistic roles.

Watch The Movie Show's review here.


7. The Aviator (2004)

An imitation of Katharine Hepburn that often threatens to disappear into caricature until leavened with a moment of genuine internal conflict. A difficult, Oscar-winning role.

Read SBS Movies' review here.


6. Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)

While the film was not as successful as its predecessor, Blanchett provides a memorable performance, one that builds on the prodigious range demonstrated in the original.

Read SBS Movies' review here.


5. Carol (2015)

Tortured and trapped, Blanchett simmers in Todd Haynes' period romance with palpable passion and tenderness.

Read SBS Movies' review here.


4. Blue Jasmine (2013)

Blanchett’s painstakingly erratic performance lifts this film above standard late-Woody fare, rightly earning her the Oscar for best actress.

Read SBS Movies' review here.


3. I’m Not There (2007)

Is perfect imitation less or more difficult than creating a character from within? Who knows. Either way, Blanchett embodies Dylan like no actor has before.

Watch The Movie Show's review here.


2. Notes on a Scandal (2006)

Blanchett takes a shining to a charismatic history professor (Judi Dench), and plays the increasingly obsessive role with unbroken electricity.


1. Elizabeth (1998)

Go back and watch Elizabeth and tell us for sure that the titular character was played by a 29-year-old Australian. Astonishing maturity.

Watch The Movie's Show's review, which includes a fantastic interview with Blanchett before she adopted a more international accent.


Elizabeth airs on Friday, 9 September at 8:35pm (AEST) on SBS. Elizabeth: The Golden Age airs Friday, 16 September at 8:35pm (AEST) on SBS.

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