Why Oscar voters will go crazy for Cate Blanchett in ‘Blue Jasmine’

Do you wonder why there is such a crazed stampede of Oscarologists desperate to be first to declare the Best Actress race for Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine“)? In July and August?

It’s not just because of the wallop of her performance, which is deeply felt. It’s because she, as a star, is overdue to win in the lead race and because her role in “Blue Jasmine” is classic made-for-Oscar fare.

Yes, Cate Blanchett already won an Academy Award for portraying Oscar’s biggest acting champ, Katharine Hepburn, in “The Aviator” (2004), but that was merely in the supporting category. If academy members anoint you there, they sometimes like to promote you later as Denzel Washington, Kevin Spacey, Jessica Lange and Meryl Streep discovered.

Now … about her screen role. Voters like their winners blotto, so it’s always good if contenders guzzle hooch like Elizabeth Taylor in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” or Jessica Lange in “Blue Sky” (1994). Voters also like their winners wacko. Think Charlize Theron (“Monster,” 2003) or Kathy Bates (“Misery,” 1990).

But academy members are connoisseurs of craziness. They like stars best when beset by high anxiety during a search for the meaning of life like Nicole Kidman in “The Hours” (2002). More recently, Natalie Portman went bonkers when confronting the emptiness of a life that academy members know well – showbiz. Remember, she performs on a stage in “Black Swan” (2010).

In “Blue Jasmine,” Blanchett tackles the equivalent to a Beverly Hills life – an absurd veneration of wealth and class that many Oscar voters share. When she loses it, she truly loses it – while popping pills washed down with vino.

Bingo! Oscarology made easy! Can she possibly lose?

Oh, wait, there’s that pesky, Oscar-grabbing Meryl Streep in this year’s derby, too, and – watch out – she’ll be stumbling around “August: Osage County” popping pills and swilling hooch while trying to teach her dopey kids what life is really all about.

Make your early Oscar predictions now — below. Change them later as often as you wish.


5 thoughts on “Why Oscar voters will go crazy for Cate Blanchett in ‘Blue Jasmine’

  1. You should include the fact that Lange also won a lead Oscar after winning one in supporting – a feat accomplished only by one other woman: Meryl Streep

  2. But then Streep still has one fewer Oscar than Hepburn, despite having five more noms AND her Oscars seemingly more fitting of her best work. (Of Hepburn’s four Oscar winners, the only one that EVER shows up on lists of her best roles is Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner — and then mainly because of Spencer Tracy.) I see another Oscar for Blanchett before Meryl gets her fourth.

  3. Wouldn’t mind Cate winning if she really delivers. Enough with the consolation prizes. I am aleady hearing DiCaprio being tipped as lead Actor winner because,after a handful of nominations, he is somehow “due” for an Oscar.

  4. I saw Blue Jasmine over the weekend and Cate Blanchett’s performance was transcendent and if she doesn’t at least win the globe or SAG award I’ll be shocked it was the most incredible performance I’ve seen in a Woody Allen film since Penelope Cruz in “Vicky Christsina Barcelona”

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