First Film: Bruce Beresford’s Paradise Road, followed quickly by Gillian Armstrong’s divine Oscar and Lucinda (opposite Ralph Fiennes) in 1997.
Must-see: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Wes Anderson, 2004); Notes on a Scandal (Richard Eyre, 2005); I’m Not There (Todd Haynes, 2006), the three crown jewels in one of the hottest runs by an actress in recent memory, that also included an Oscar win for Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator in 2004.
Star Turn: As perhaps the most famous virgin queen in all history, Elizabeth (Shekar Kapur, 1998), Blanchett rocketed to the A-list.
Underrated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (David Fincher, 2008). A performance that spans the entire life of a woman, played beautifully, plausibly, at every age by the versatile Blanchett.
Upcoming, Current and/or Recent: This summer she was Ridley Scott’s Maid Marian in Robin Hood opposite Russell Crowe and played Blanche DuBois for Ingmar Bergman’s great collaborator Liv Ullmann on the stage and is rumored to be reprising the role for Broadway soon. Next year she will be seen in Joe Wright’s Hanna.