In my opinion, Cate Blanchett is one of the greatest actresses of modern times. If you watch a movie with Blanchett, you can expect a riveting performance that will capture your heart and mind. She effortlessly makes you believe she’s an eloquent elf, a neglected older sibling out for revenge, an iconic screen actress, or even a very influential queen. Blanchett has so many gripping roles, that you’ll constantly find something new and exciting to watch starring or featuring her. Luckily, for those who want to stream or rent her movies, some of Cate Blanchett’s best movies are currently available on streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu.
For this list, I picked a variety of her movies that showcase her in various roles and emphasize her talents. Many are well known Blanchett films, but there may be a few that are new to you. Let’s look at some of Cate Blanchett’s best movies to stream or rent.
The Lord Of The Rings Films (2001-2003)
Peter Jackson's acclaimed adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien’s beloved books brings Middle-earth to the big screen as Frodo (Elijah Wood), Sam (Sean Astin) and others set off on a quest to destroy the One Ring. We encounter a host of different creatures, from hobbits to elves and wizards. Jackson’s trilogy includes Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
Cate Blanchett plays Galadriel in all three Lord of the Rings films. This role made Blanchett an even bigger global name, at least among Lord of the Rings film fans, which represents a pretty large fan base.
Notes On A Scandal (2006)
Notes on a Scandal stars Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett in two of their most toxic but gripping roles. Blanchett plays Sheba Hart, a teacher who begins an affair with a teenage student. Dench plays Barbara Covett, a veteran teacher who discovers the affair. She becomes obsessed with Hart and becomes increasingly volatile.
Notes on a Scandal offers a master class from both Dench and Blanchett as they pour everything into these roles and this film. The film earned them both Academy Award nominations at the 79th event.
Carol is a romantic drama set in the 1950s. It follows the affair of a woman going through a divorce and an aspiring photographer working at a department store. The two women seem like opposites, and they know the danger of their romance, but they have an unbreakable bond and love for one another. Carol stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.
Carol is a quiet love story, but that’s what makes it compelling. It feels authentic and you can’t help but go through the same emotions with the two leads as you watch. Blanchett also received an Academy Award nomination for her role here.
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button follows a man as he ages in reverse. Brad Pitt plays Benjamin Button as an adult, and Cate Blanchett plays his love interest, Daisy Fuller. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’s cast also includes Taraji P. Henson, Julia Ormond, Tilda Swinton, and Mahershala Ali.
Daisy was one of the standout characters in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Blanchett gave a layered performance as a complex character whose struggles and personality went beyond her relationship to Benjamin.
The Aviator (2004)
Martin Scorsese directed The Aviator, a movie based on the billionaire Howard Hughes' life. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as the complex lead, while the film also stars Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn, Kate Beckinsale as Ava Gardner, and Alec Baldwin as Juan Trippe.
Katharine Hepburn is one of the most well-known actresses of all-time, so Blanchett had huge shoes to fill with her portrayal of the mesmerizing screen actress. Blanchett manages to give her own interpretation of Hepburn while making sure to pay tribute to this influential and respected film icon. Cate Blanchett won her first Academy Award for her role in The Aviator.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Thor: Ragnarok takes Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Loki (Tom Hiddleston), and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) to a new planet as they must find a way to return to and save Asgard from Thor’s sister, Hela (Cate Blanchett).
The film is without a doubt (in my opinion) the best Thor movie, and one of the best Marvel movies. It manages to be fun, while also upping the stakes, as Thor and Loki really could lose it all this time. Blanchett’s Hela is a great addition to the Marvel franchise. She manages to be a terrifying villain and different from many that we’ve seen before, especially because her agenda seems more personal than global. Hela is one of the best Marvel Cinematic Universe villains thus far.
Blue Jasmine (2013)
Blue Jasmine tells the story of a socialite who has her life disrupted and must move in with her sister. Jasmine's (Cate Blanchett) personality often collides with her sister’s boyfriend Chili (Bobby Cannavale). Woody Allen directed the Blue Jasmine cast, which also includes Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard, Louis C.K, and Sally Hawkins.
The film clearly takes some influence from A Streetcar Named Desire, which means many will draw comparisons to Blanchett’s Jasmine and Vivien Leigh’s Blanche. Both women give breathtaking performances while giving each character their own unique style and personality. Blanchett won her second Academy Award for Blue Jasmine.
The Queen Elizabeth I Films (1998, 2007)
Cate Blanchett portrayed Elizabeth I in two films, Elizabeth and its sequel Elizabeth: The Golden Age. She received an Academy Award nomination for both films, which were directed by Shekhar Kapur.
No matter how you feel about the films, there is no denying that Blanchett gives great performances in both. They also have lush costumes and set designs that may appeal to fans of historical fiction.
I'm Not There (2007)
Todd Haynes directed and co-wrote the screenplay for this unconventional biopic, inspired by the life and art of Bob Dylan. It features six different actors taking on various personas of the singer/songwriter. I’m Not There stars Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Ben Whishaw.
I’m Not There earned Blanchett numerous award nominations, including an Academy Award nomination, a British Academy Films Award nomination, a Golden Globe nomination and win, and a Chicago Film Critics nomination and win.
The Gift (2000)
Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson co-wrote the script for The Gift. Sam Raimi directed the film. Cate Blanchett plays Annie Wilson, a woman who has psychic visions. She tries to use her abilities to assist the police in solving a murder mystery. The Gift’s cast includes Giovanni Ribisi, Keanu Reeves, Katie Holmes, Greg Kinnear, and Hilary Swank.
The Gift is a very exciting thriller that takes you along with every new twist and turn, until you finally reach the end. There's an impressive cast, but Blanchett stands out as the lead. The Gift is as much about Annie as it is about solving this murder.
The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)
Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou follows oceanographer Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) as he sets out to get revenge on a jaguar shark who ate his partner. While on this journey, he meets Ned Plimpton (Owen Wilson), a man who believes Zissou maybe his father. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’s cast includes Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston, and Willem Dafoe.
Blanchett plays Jane Winslett-Richardson, a pregnant reporter who comes along to chronicle Zissou’s journey. She ends up creating a bit of tension between the potential father and son, as both develop feelings for her. With Blanchett in the role, it’s easy to understand how Zissou and Ned could both fall for Jane.
Don’t Look Up (2021)
Don’t Look Up is Adam McKay’s black comedy about an impending comet that could end the world. The Don’t Look Up cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, Meryl Streep, Rob Morgan, Mark Rylance, Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, and Timothee Chalamet.
Blanchett plays Brie, a morning show host who's the right amount of self-absorbed and shallow without going into a cartoonish realm with the character.
These are just a few of Cate Blanchett’s best movies available to stream or rent. If you want a few more suggestions, Veronica Guerin, Little Fish, Babel, Hanna, The Turning, Cinderella, Ocean’s 8, and Where’d You Go, Bernadette are all also available to stream or rent.
You can next see Blanchett in TAR and Borderlands. You can also hear Blanchett in Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio cast. Blanchett fans can also watch her in another del Toro movie, Nightmare Alley, which is playing in theaters now.
Spent most of my life in various parts of Illinois, including attending college in Evanston. I have been a life long lover of pop culture, especially television, turned that passion into writing about all things entertainment related. When I'm not writing about pop culture, I can be found channeling Gordon Ramsay by kicking people out the kitchen.
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