She might be a winner, but Cate Blanchett isn’t all that big on awards season.
At last night’s Critics Choice Awards, Cate was crowned Best Actress for her portrayal of Lydia Tár in the movie Tár.
Collecting the award onstage, Cate began her speech by expressing how shocked she was to have won, quipping: “I've got gum in my mouth. I really didn't expect to be standing here.”
Honoring the “extraordinary” performances by her fellow nominees — Viola Davis, Danielle Deadwyler, Margot Robbie, Michelle Williams, and Michelle Yeoh — Cate declared her win “arbitrary,” before going on to criticize the concept of awards shows in general.
“I would love it if we would just change this whole fucking structure,” she began. “It’s like, what is this patriarchal pyramid where someone stands up here?”
Trophy in hand, the two-time Oscar winner went on to suggest that televised awards shows should be scrapped all together, and that we should stop pitting actors against each other for entertainment.
“Why don't we just say there was a whole raft of female performances that are in concert and in dialogue with one another?” she said to cheers from the audience. “And stop the televised horse race of it all.”
She closed the speech by celebrating the work of her peers once more. “Every single woman with a television, film, advertising, tampon commercials — whatever — you're all out there doing amazing work that is inspiring me continually,” she said.
And while the message of Cate’s speech was that she and her fellow nominees were equally deserving of the win, she clarified her point in a later interview, suggesting that it might be time to revise the approach to awards season.
“No one stands up there with one of these without a whole army of people making the film… and I think there’s a different way of celebrating performances,” she said backstage. “We’re all part of the industry; we all influence one another. [All the] actresses were challenged and pushed to their limit as well.”
Of course, Cate’s comments echo long-standing questions about the future of Hollywood awards ceremonies, particularly in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Awards shows like the Oscars and Golden Globes have also faced intense scrutiny in recent years, with the Globes even opting not to air the ceremony in 2022 after an investigation found that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association had no Black members.
But, despite taking a year off, the Golden Globes ceremony made a comeback to NBC last week — albeit to its second-lowest viewer total in its 28-year history with the network.
Meanwhile, the 95th Academy Awards — for which Cate is one of the top contenders to take home her third Oscar — will air on March 12 on ABC, with nominations due to be announced next week.
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