Oscar loves Cate Blanchett. She received the notable honor of the double nomination last year - best Actress for Elizabeth: The Golden Age and Supporting Actress as Bob Dylan in I'm Not There.
These two nominations give her a current total of 5 nominations (winning the award for supporting actress playing the part of Katherine Hepburn in The Aviator).
She has such a wide range of roles that it only seems like her popularity is growing. She does the high-attention art projects like The Talented Mr. Ripley and Babel...she does the smaller art films like Coffee and Cigarettes, The Good German, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and The Shipping News...and she takes key roles in fan-boy films like The Lord of The Rings and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Like a talented party-guest, Cate does a wonderful job of "playing the room" making sure she gives plenty of attention to the variety of guest at the party. However she goes about picking the roles for films, this busy actress certainly does an excellent job keeping her resume is order, and surely that can only help give her a chance at the best roles.
Cate's great versatility of projects is echoed by the versatility of her acting skills. She can play a Julia-Robert-esque part in the film Bandits, but then she also is exceptional in biopics because of her ability to mimic and becomes someone else, in a completely believable way. Which is probably why four of her five nominations are for playing real people, the exception being her supporting actress nod for Notes on a Scandal.
I have to wonder if she will get nominated for Best Actress for her multi-aged performance in the Curious Case of Benjamin Button?
I really do believe that David Fincher's film is the film to beat this year, it seems most likely to pick up the widest range of nominations assuming it lives up to expectations. So it makes you wonder...will Cate Blanchett get nominated for best actress.
When people mention the film, her name is often excluded as others are picking up the buzz (Meryl Street, Kate Winslet, Kristin Scott Thomas, Sally Hawkins, Anne Hathaway, Jolie, Kidman, etc., etc.) but... I have to think that the Academy loves Cate Blanchett, and if her performance is respectable in a well loved film, she could easily wedge her way into the race.
As I relook at the Oscar race pre-precursors, I have to think that Blanchett has a chance, and if I have to give someone the bump, I think it might have to one of the unknowns (Sally Hawkins or Anne Hathaway) or Angelina Jolie.
I also can imagine, this being a year where no "new comers" are given first time nods in this category. Is it possible? Very possible. The predictions below show Anne Hathaway getting some "first time" love. But the race is still a who-knows in many ways.
Here's my top 5 prediction now (slightly different than my October prediction)
1. Mery Streep, Doubt
2. Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road
3. Cate Blanchett, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
4. Kristin Scott Thomas, I Loved You So Long
5. Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
6. Angelina Jolie, The Changeling
7. Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky
Easily Could join the crowd, I at least expect globe nods
8. Nicole Kidman, Australia
9. Emma Thompson, Last Chance Harvey
10. Melissa Leo, Frozen River
11. Michelle Williams, Wendy and Lucy
Which ladies do you expect to excel in this race? Is Cate Blanchett a shoo-in or a long-shot?