Surely the facts are of no interest to The World’s Worst Newspaper
Cate Blanchett has played Blanche Dubois, the Queen of England (twice), Katharine Hepburn and all manner of elegant yet troubled heroines. But to portray Jasmine French, the socialite on a swift and bumpy fall from rank, and grace, in “Blue Jasmine,” she looked to Richard II for inspiration.
As Shakespeare wrote him, he’s “someone who has a sense of entitlement,” she said. “Throughout the course of that play, you have somebody who’s experiencing a gulf between the role and the title of king, and who he is as a man.”
Of course, she’s also played him, onstage, in Sydney in 2009, just before she took on Blanche in a production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” that came to the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
“There’s something about the musculature of those characters that stays with you, I think, when you approach a great role on screen,” she said.
Her performance in “Blue Jasmine,” Woody Allen’s latest film, which tracks her character as she unravels in long, unbroken close-ups, was immediately hailed as brilliant and has made her, for months, a front-runner for the best actress Oscar. It’s a position she can expect to carry into the awards, on March 2, though under different circumstances.
The distance between a man and his exalted standing, or an artist and his art, is also useful to think about lately, as accusations that Mr. Allen abused his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow have resurfaced. Amid the back-and-forth between the director and his supporters, and Ms. Farrow and her supporters, and the scores of essays and commentary about it from outsiders, there is the far less pressing — but not unrelated — issue of the Oscar race.
An accusation promulgated by Mia Farrow’s meat puppet Nick Kristoff and fully supported by the editorial board of the NYT, which actually had the gall to consider not giving Woody Allen the opportunity to reply to these scurrilous charges on its formerly esteemed pages.
Ms. Farrow linked the two, in an open letter naming Ms. Blanchett and others who have worked with Mr. Allen, or celebrated him, as party to a culture that denigrates and intimidates victims. (Mr. Allen is also nominated for an Oscar, for the film’s screenplay.) In what he said was his last word on the subject, Mr. Allen vigorously denied the accusations, suggesting they were a part of a yearslong smear campaign by his former partner Mia Farrow.
Through a representative, Ms. Blanchett declined to comment on the matter for this article. “It’s obviously been a long and painful situation for the family,” she told the Oscar blogger Jeffrey Wells at an awards ceremony early this month, “and I hope they find some resolution and peace.”
How deliciously condescending of you.
So, to the film.
There’s a film?
Maybe there’s just couple of actresses — one of whom wants to destroy the other’s career.
Though its story has parallels to the Bernard L. Madoff case — especially the trajectory of his wife — Letty Aronson, Mr. Allen’s sister and longtime producer, said the inspiration came from a friend of a friend of Mr. Allen’s wife. “She lost everything,” Ms. Aronson said.
For Ms. Blanchett, the part was rooted in a contemporary moral tale. “Particularly in the wake of the global financial crisis,” she said, “anybody of great privilege who has achieved that place of privilege through illegal means is a villain before they even open their mouths.”
Cate Blanchett fully understands what it means for artists to open their mouths — and deal with the consequences of doing so.
And now for all the Truly Wronged women out there — Kristen Chenoweth will sing us out.