Cate Blanchett’s Best Actress win for “Blue Jasmine” has been a foregone conclusion since the Woody Allen film came out in the fall.
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A recent campaign against the director by Ronan and Mia Farrow threatened to derail her win. But last night the Aussie actress finally picked up the little gold man, presented to her by Daniel Day-Lewis, last year’s Best Actor winner.
“From you, it exacerbates this honor and blows it right out of the ballpark,” she told him.
Blanchett continued, “As random and as subjective as this award is, it means a great deal in a year of extraordinary, yet again, extraordinary performances by women. Amy Adams, everything you do, but your performance in ‘American Hustle’ blew my mind. And Meryl, what can I say? Sandra, I could watch that performance to the end of time, and I sort of felt like I had.”
Her compliment to Julia Roberts was cryptic: “Julia, hashtag suck it. You know what I mean? And Judi Dench, I mean what a career. She’s not here tonight because at the age of 79, her film was so successful that she’s in India doing a sequel. I mean what a career that is, if I could hope.” (Dame Judi is shooting “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2.”)
Blanchett thanked Allen early in her speech and very quickly in what seemed an attempt to bypass any controversy. “I’m here accepting an award in an extraordinary screenplay by Woody Allen,” she said. “Thank you so much, Woody, for casting me. I truly appreciate it. I’m so very proud that ‘Blue Jasmine’ stayed in the cinemas for as long as it did.”
Blanchett thanked Michael Barker and Tom Bernard of Sony Classics “for so bravely and intelligently distributing the film and to the audiences who went to see it and perhaps those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are niche experiences,” she chided Hollywood for its treatment of women. “Audiences want to see them and, in fact, they earn money.”
Later in the pressroom, a reporter asked Blanchett if she felt added pressure as the Oscar frontrunner.
“What kind of pressure does it put on you?” Blanchett repeated. “An intense, unbearable pressure which I’m so glad is over. I mean, look, it has been every year. And having been in theatre primarily for the last six years, I can say this objectively. Every year I watch this thing remotely, and every year there are 5, 6, 10, 12, 20 performances by women that I am gobsmacked by and inspired by. And you know, it gets whittled down to five ‑‑ is it five of us? And I mean, to be in conversation with those women, you know, by proxy, because we are all crammed together into one category, that’s the privilege. And the rest is just chocolate.”
The “Blue Jasmine” star was less forthcoming when asked what her shout-out to Julia Roberts meant. “It happened in the bar with Ms. Roberts. And that’s all I’m prepared to say.”