Last Saturday I had the privilege of attending the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. This year, the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award went to Cate Blanchett. I attended the Red Carpet and Awards Ceremony last weekend, which was such fun. Cate is such a mesmerizing beauty, you can't blame the photographers for going nuts shooting her. Yet she is down to earth, warmly intelligent, and, most surprisingly, reveals an insecure side. She talked in depth and openly about her work during the ceremony, which showed clips of her many and varied roles, and mentioned that she was "embarrassed" by watching the clips. She said that is one reason why she keeps working, to "fix past shortcomings."
One thing that struck me about her interview, how much courage it takes to be an actor at the highest level. She has to make choices, whether right or wrong, but go with them with full conviction. If it doesn't work, so be it. But in her case, so much of what she does works, and beautifully. She is an actress of the highest caliber, and I would be surprised if she doesn't get the Oscar for her performance in Blue Jasmine, which I reviewed here on July 28, 2013 (scroll back).
The film festival also featured scores of outstanding films, shorts, panel discussions, and other events, and is one of the top film festivals in California, in my opinion. I just wish I lived closer to Santa Barbara so I could see Robert Redford get his award this Friday! The festival is ongoing, for more information visit sbiff.org. For more photos, visit my Flickr page here: flickr.com/joybennett.