The relationship between the actors and the movies they starred in has been investigated by many researchers. One out of an entirely ‘legion’ of Hollywood actors is the Australian actress, Cate Blanchett. During the last years of the twentieth century, Hollywood was asking, “Who is she? ” (Altman, 2000, p. 78).
But nowadays she is one of the ost wanted actresses in all the studios around the world. Altman (2000) writes in her article that “on the subject of her true persona, Blanchett offers little illumination. She seems to delight in remaining a bit of a mystery” (p. 78). However, little information has been provided to the audience and fans about the actors or actresses’ performance in different movies, and how they have been adapted playing such different roles. In this case, researchers have written many articles about Cate Blanchett’s personal life, about her fashion and her hair style, and how she acts in each movie.
But what they have gnored is her abilities to act and perform in several different roles, what message she conveys in each of her roles, and which are her efforts in her hard work. The purpose of this paper is to give a clear analysis on Cate Blanchett performance in three movies considering the sociological and technical viewpoint, such as the devotion of a woman, the relationship to men’s world, and the efforts she made in Elizabeth, Charlotte Gray and Babel. Before analyzing the above aspects, let us discuss in this paragraph how the Hero of the movie comes in three different natures: as an Epic, Romantic and
Tragic character. In our case, our Hero is Cate Blanchett who in an amazing way covers all these characters natures in her three films she has played, particularly in Elizabeth, Charlotte Gray and Babel. In the movie Elizabeth, Blanchett portrays pretty well an epic personage, the queen of England during the 16th-century, Elizabeth and her Golden Times. In the next movie, in Charlotte Gray, Cate reveals a romantic personage capable of showing her love and especially her admirable strength during desperate times.
In the third movie, in Babel, the milieu itself is very gloomy and our Hero shows hroughout much of the film a tragic personage fighting against death. Considering these three natures of an actor, we begin so with the analysis of our Hero. The first aspect in which the analyzing of the actress Cate Blanchett is going to proceed is her amazing will to sacrifice her own pleasures for the sake of an important issue. Firstly, in Elizabeth Blanchett’s Elizabeth is put in the eyes of the audience as a “brocaded and browless 16th-century English monarch” (Altman, 2000, p. 78).
The queen deals with several threats and sacrifices her own happiness to her county portraying so a strong figure and apable Of ruling an entire Empire alone and without any men’s help (“Sign posts history films,” 2011, Para. 8). The devotion of a woman in this film comes through Elizabeth’s attitude towards the fate of her country. Personal sacrifices and commitments toward the country are perfectly portrayed by Blanchett’s character, and this comes as a timelessness message of the film. Making such a decision and throwing away your happiness for something more important is considered as an amazing will of the all the women around the world.
Elizabeth and her woman figure come very strong throughout uch of the film, but not secure. The critic James Berarndinelli notes that Blanchett “acts the part of a fiery, determined young woman riddled by the uncertain¶y’ of a precarious position” (as cited in Knowles, 2003, p. 79). A young princess considered as heretic by the half of the England, without any idea of how to rule an entire Empire, with the pressure of being conquest, with various threats to her life feels competent and brings England to its Golden Ages.
Another critic, Elisa Francesca Roselli writes that Blanchett “shows us an Elizabeth in dynamic evolution, from uncertain young princess, eeling her way through seas of vipers, to autonomous woman confident of her own competence to rule” (as cited in Knowles, 2003, p. 79). Secondly, in Charlotte Gray, “portrayed by Cate Blanchett, the ordinary woman and her Story reveal the extraordinary limits she challenged during desperate times” (Pryce, 2001 , Para. 2). Blanchetts personage’s devotion in this movie is double. First off, Charlotte Gray comes to the audience as a true patriot woman ready for her duty call.
She is very devoted to her country, but in the same time she reveals a magnificent figure because of her choice to save her an while he was fighting against death somewhere in France. So, her devotion in this film, to her country and to her love is both combined, and this joint has had many prerequisites. Charlotte has had to learn how to fight, how to handle a difficult moment, how to have different identities, how to stay without asking, and how to live without living as she really is. Throughout much of the film, Charlotte Gray is ‘dead’. After all she had been through she managed to succeed in her both duties.
Pryce (2001 ) writes in his article that “Charlotte Gray is one of the years most intense films. In addition to potlighting the role of this one Scottish woman, it depicts how one individual’s effort can make a world of difference” (Para. 10) In addition to the message of the film, Blanchett herself “described her role as that of many Americans who, in the wake of Sept. 11, felt compelled to do something in order to feel purposeful” (Pryce, 2001 Para. 8). She ends it up saying that “no matter how small the contributions, many people feel they have to do something” (Pryce, 2001, para- 8).
Thirdly, in Babel, Cate Blanchett’s devotion is shown through the wild and severe life of Morocco where she faces death nd fights against it. Spines (2007) writes in her article about what the movie really consists of. “Alternately epic and intimate, political and personal, Babel bombards the senses with big ideas and bigger emotions” (Spines, 2007, para. 1). “The scope was insanely ambitious, verging on impossible,” declared Cate who has the role of an American tourist shot by a blind bullet (Spines, 2007, para. 1). Susan appears as a strong personage, and at the same time she shows her love even though she is fighting against death.
Her devotion in the point of getting her family back together goes through difficult moments. Everything started when she left her children alone with a nanny and went far away of home just for the sake of her family happiness. If we think better, her actions throughout much of the film, shows her strong character and personality. Also, her actions reveal how a woman in general can face very difficult moments in life when she has made a crucial decision which may possibly change the direction of her life. Through Susan’s character Cate Blanchett herself conveys a meaningful message.
This differs from the message the movie itself shows, but it expresses how far can go the woman’s bility and desire if she wants to have or to realize something in life. The second aspect this paper is going to concentrate is her amazing ability to intersect with the world of men in her three movies we mentioned above. Considering the time period of the story of each movie, there are different stands of Blanchetts characters to her relation with men’s world. In Elizabeth, the queen herself goes against the flow of the crowd. Meaning that, she does not accept to be advised or to hear a men’s word, denying so the men’s presence.
In this film, she is portrayed as ‘ ‘The Virgin Queen. ” In the real istory, her relationship with men had been reciprocal. They both had given to each other, and they both had profited from their relationship. Even though in the movie they have manipulated time periods, some aspects are not the same with the exact story (“Sign posts history films,” 201 1, para. 9). She had had many sexual intercourses with a lot of men despite the fact that in the film she appears a Virgin Queen. While in Charlotte Gray, Blanchett’s character is the subject of the power of men.
Throughout much of the film she appears as a “little woman repelled by and attracted to the world of men” Wolff, 2002, para. 6). Charlotte Gray is often humbled to the men’s ascendency. Wolff (2002) writes in her article about Charlotte Gray that “She’s still just vapor, but men give her substance and fire enough to become visible to herself, and she’ll turn to them to piece together her own female identity’ (Para. 7). Before the story starts, Charlotte Gray is described by Wolff (2002) as “transparent, without influence over the lives of men” (Para. ). This does not mean that Charlotte is herself or another person, but she “aims to reveal the process of female self-realization” (Wolff, 2002, Para. ). She comes to the eyes of the audience in this way of being due to the fact that the period itself in that time was constructed in that way. When she finally proclaims her real identity, this was thought to be for us (the audience) ‘the lifting of the veil,” but for the audience there was no release, and no reveal of a “woman’s spirit set free” (Wolff, 2002, Para. 16).
Wolff concludes her article with a strong idea related to Blanchett’s character stating that “The veil over the mystery of Charlotte Gray is left, after all, undisturbed” (Para. 18). While in the Other ilms, particularly in Elizabeth, Blanchett’s Elizabeth denies men’s power, and in Charlotte Gray she is humbled to them, in Babel, what is more important and what Blanchett’s Susan shows is the gender equality. She risks her own life for the sake of her husband, and for getting her family back together. Everything happens in nowhere, in the middle of the desert.
Joyce King Heyraud, Ph. D. , a Jungian analyst and Film Editor of Psychological Perspectives, describes in his article the moment between husband and wife after the deathly bullet which hit Susan, a scene which is presented in a onverbal way of acting between Blanchett and Pitt: “This harrowing experience brings Susan and Richard to the depths of despair but also creates an intimacy between them, breathless in its transcendence” (p. 165). The third and the last aspect of the analyses is Blanchetts effort in work and especially in these three movies.
Cate Blanchett has been praised for her persistence and her full commitment in work. In Elizabeth, Cate Blanchett “spent three months with her hairline shaved and her brows and lashes bleached” (“Cate Blanchett,” 1999, para- 1). After the movie, she stated that the more effort you make on how you look, the more you put yourself on the line” (“Cate Blanchett,” 1999, Para. 1). Blanchett has shown an amazing will when she appeared not so beautiful and even ugly for the sake of her part in the movie, and this lists her career as the number one priority (“Cate Blanchett,” 1 999, para. 2).
Gerston (2000) writes in his article that “Cate Blanchett is a chameleon who can transform herself” (Para. 1). Gerston (2000) also stresses out her chameleon ability in fashion, “wearing everything from Valentino to little-known London labels” (Para. 2). Moreover, the director Gillian Armstrong says about Blanchett that “she has the ability to go to other worlds, a magical quality, so you can absolutely believe she could be possessed” (as cited in Altman, 2000, p. 78). Despite her full commitment in her appearance, she has been a workaholic when it comes to the accent she had to speak in.
In this movie, Cate Blanchett aces very well English accent and it is rich in royal vocabulary. But, to speak an English accent fluently, she had to take several lessons from a Hollywood tutor, Robert Easton (Schleier, 1999, p. 94). Robert Easton has tutored over 2,000 actors in Hollywood over he last 30 years, and he is capable of teaching “any diligent performer any accent in the world,” the actor Charlston Heston stated (as cited in Schleier, 1999, p. 94). In Charlotte Gray, Blanchett has accepted a very difficult role for a woman to be played.
She has had to perform in different personalities, and playing a multi-role character. In the first scenes, Charlotte reveals an ordinary woman from Scotland. In other scenes, she comes to the eyes of the audience stronger, and more devoted to her duty. Charlotte Gray accepted being part of British Intelligence, taking care of two Jewish children, xchanging secret information, and making herself be silent. Throughout much of the film, Charlotte is very patient and all of her roles inside this movie have required from Blanchett lots Of rehearsals to be in her best form.
The accent tutor, Robert Easton and his lessons have made Blanchetts accents roams from Scottish to English in this movie. Cate emphasizes that the accent is “syntax and rhythm and breath. It’s about when people choose to pause, what words they emphasize” (Smith & Ansen, 2007). In Babel, Cate Blanchett has sacrificed a lot during the movie rehearsals. She and her olleague Brad Pitt have tried many scenes, especially the scene where Pitt had to carry Cate. This is the moment when Blanchett’s Susan was shot and Richard had to lift her to the nearest village in Morocco.
Blanchett says that “we had to do it about 20 times, downhill and uphill in the heat. It was quite a workout” (“Our favorite scene Brad Pitt & Cate Blanchett,” 2006). She admits that “l didn’t mind getting dirty. Working with Brad was easy. He really threw himself in, to this part. He helped carry me, literally and figuratively’ (“Our favorite scene Brad Pitt & Cate Blanchett,” 2006). Even though she worked ard with making the scenes, trying to speak as a Native American was the easiest thing she could do. In Babel, she aces the American accent and being an Australian has its own privileges, Cate stated (Rozen, 2007).
Roberes lessons did not have such a major influence in Babel even though she learnt from him that accent is ‘thought process. ” “It’s got to be organic. And think the earlier you can Start the better,” Cate emphasized (Smith & Ansen, 2007). Thus, Cate Blanchetts performance in the three movies we discussed not only has been various, but also very meaningful. She has the ability to transform erself from a young monarch of the 16th-century in Elizabeth to a romantic woman full of commitment and passion in Charlotte Gray, and finally as a strong woman covered by the blood of family sacrifice.
Moreover, Blanchett revealed her admirable ability to intersect with the men’s logic and way of living, firstly denying them, secondly being subject to their world and finally praising the gender equality. In addition to sociological analysis, this paper was also based on technical viewpoint considering her hard work while making the scene of the movies. Cate Blanchett has been prized with many wards for her great performance in her movies, and also has lots of credits for making such notorious movies which have pleased many worldwide viewers.
Through her movies she has conveyed meaningful messages for the audience. This paper, based on a long analysis, does not have an identical or similar other research. The importance of such analyses stand on the fact that the audience does not need only vague information, such as with who is she married, how many children does she have, but they need critical researches, long analyses, and comparisons of an actors or actresses’ performance in different movies. This helps to have a better idea of his or her role and how he or she has been adapted.