Cate Blanchett has some notes about awards season.
On Sunday, the two-time Oscar winner won best actress at the 28th annual Critics Choice Awards for her performance in Tár.
She began her speech by joking, “I’ve got gum in my mouth. I really didn’t expect to be standing here,” and, “This is actually the second award of the evening: Julia Roberts, earlier, presented me with a bottle of mouthwash. So thank you, Julia. This is a poor second.”
Blanchett continued by saying “best actress” is an “arbitrary” term “considering how many extraordinary performances” were done by women last year. The other nominees were Viola Davis (The Woman King), Danielle Deadwyler (Till), Margot Robbie (Babylon), Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans) and Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once).
“I can’t believe I’m up here. This is ridiculous,” Blanchett, 53, said in her speech with a laugh. “I’m so old!”
The actress then suggested awards season overall get a makeover: “I would love it if we would just change this whole f—ing structure. It’s like what is this patriarchal pyramid where someone stands up here. Why don’t we just say there was a whole raft of female performances that are in concert and in dialogue with one another?”
“And stop the televised horse race of it all,” continued Blanchett. “Because, can I tell you, every single woman with a television, film, advertising, tampon commercials — whatever — you’re all out there doing amazing work that is inspiring me continually. So thank you. I share this with you all.”
In Tár, Blanchett, who won best actress in a drama at the Golden Globes on Tuesday, plays a fictional world-renowned composer named Lydia Tár, an EGOT winner widely hailed as a genius and trailblazer for women in the industry. However, Lydia’s esteemed career goes into free fall after sexual misconduct accusations surface.
She recently responded to criticism of the movie, saying on BBC Radio 4 according to Entertainment Weekly, that Tár is admittedly a “very provocative film, and it will elicit a lot of very strong responses for people. … [We wanted] to create a really lively conversation.”
“There’s no right or wrong responses to works of art. It’s not a film about conducting, and I think that the circumstances of the character are entirely fictitious,” she continued. “I looked at so many different conductors, but I also looked at novelists and visual artists, and musicians of all stripes. It’s a very non-literal film.”
“I don’t think you could have talked about the corrupting nature of power in as nuanced a way as [writer/director] Todd Field has done as a filmmaker if there was a male at the center of it because we understand so absolutely what that looks like,” she added. “I think that power is a corrupting force, no matter what one’s gender is. I think it affects all of us.”