Cate Blanchett Wins Best Actress For ‘Blue Jasmine,’ Defends Movies Starring Women

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"Cate Blanchett Wins Best Actress For ‘Blue Jasmine,’ Defends Movies Starring Women"

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Cate Blanchett Wins Best Actress For 'Blue Jasmine,' Defends Movies Starring Women

Cate Blanchett, who just won Best Actress for her performance as the coming-undone former wife of a Ponzi schemer (Alec Baldwin), used her speech to shine a bright light on films with women in the center, complimenting her fellow nominees at length for their performers, and then telling audiences of “female films” that “audiences want to see them, and in fact, they earn money.” It’s a terrific use of this platform to remind those of us watching at home that we are not, in fact, the niche, lonely viewers that Hollywood often makes us feel that we are. And it’s even more important that Blanchett called out her industry, daring them to call her some sort of fluke or exception to a rule.

There was one woman, however, that Blanchett didn’t acknowledge, and some viewers will certainly be frustrated for her. “Thank you so much, Woody, for casting me, I so appreciate it,” Blanchett said of embattled director Woody Allen, who has faced renewed charges that he sexually abused his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow. There have been some calls for Blanchett to turn down her award, given the man who gave her the part through which she earned it. And there have been other suggestions that Academy voters should penalize Blanchett as a way to raise the costs for actors who are considering working with Allen. Neither of these things happened tonight, but the applause at Allen’s name was decidedly muted.

It will take more than a single ceremony to dismantle the enormous clout Allen has in Hollywood–he’s won too many people Oscars, and given too many people excellent parts for them to let go of him so easily. And given that this is the second time the allegations against Allen have been explored in depth, it’s unlikely that these charges will make him a pariah, either. But that quiet smatter of applause may be a sign of more sober–and separate–assessments of Allen as a man and as a director to come. That’s not legal justice or resolution for Dylan Farrow, but it is a measure of progress.

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