Actress Cate Blanchett and actor/director Ralph Fiennes will be feted this year with Gala Tributes at the 51st New York Film Festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced. The annual celebrations recognize the work of individuals who have made "significant artistic contributions to film culture in the past and will continue to do so in the future." This year's Gala Tribute to Cate Blanchett will take place Wednesday, October 2, while the event honoring Ralph Fiennes is set for Wednesday, October 9, coinciding with the screening of his film, The Invisible Woman, in the NYFF51 Main Slate.
Past honorees include Pedro Almodóvar, David Cronenberg, Nicole Kidman and former Film Society Program Director Richard Peña. As part of the Gala Tributes, Film Society will host intimate dinners preceding the tributes/screenings with attendees including that evening’s honorees and other VIP guests.
"In the year that many critics are hailing her most recent—and perhaps greatest—performance (in Blue Jasmine), the Film Society is delighted to celebrate the career of Cate Blanchett," said Film Society of Lincoln Center Executive Director Rose Kuo. "Since her breakthrough in Oscar and Lucinda in 1997, Ms. Blanchett has consistently mesmerized audiences with some of the boldest screen performances of the past twenty years, with roles as diverse as Queen Elizabeth I and Bob Dylan."
Of Fiennes, Kuo noted: “In just his third screen role, Ralph Fiennes's performance as the monstrous Amon Goeth in Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List terrified audiences with its personification of evil. Since then, Mr. Fiennes has brilliantly embodied the larger-than-life creations of writers such as Shakespeare, Dickens, and Graham Greene, among others, and given us an extraordinary body of work to celebrate. The Film Society is excited to honor him at this year’s New York Film Festival not only as an actor, but as the director of The Invisible Woman, truly one of the noteworthy films of the year."
Cate Blanchett and Ralph Fiennes' bios follow.
A recipient of multiple Academy Award® nominations and a Best Supporting Actress winner for her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator (2004), Cate Blanchett first received widespread attention in Hollywood in Gillian Armstrong’s Oscar and Lucinda (1997) opposite fellow NYFF honoree Ralph Fiennes. She followed the next year with her indelible Golden Globe-winning and Academy Award®-nominated performance as Elizabeth I in Shekhar Kapur’s Elizabeth (1998). A string of films followed, most notably Mike Newell’s Pushing Tin (1999), Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Sam Raimi’s The Gift (2000), Barry Levinson’s Bandits (2001), Gillian Armstrong’s Charlotte Gray (2001), and Lasse Hallstrom’s The Shipping News (2001).
2001 also saw Blanchett’s first appearance as the luminous Galdriel, the Elf Queen, in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, the first of the trilogy which became a worldwide phenomenon including The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). Blanchett also demonstrated a penchant for teaming with major and critically respected directors including Ron Howard’s The Missing (2003), Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes (2003), Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), Scorsese’s The Aviator, and a trio of films in 2006 including Alejandro González Iñárritu’s devastating Babel opposite Brad Pitt, and Steven Soderbergh’s The Good German opposite George Clooney, before receiving her third Academy Award nomination for her role of a tragically compromised schoolteacher, opposite Dame Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal.
In 2008, Blanchett was nominated for two Academy Awards®, as Best Actress for Shekhar Kapur’s Elizabeth, The Golden Age, and as Best Supporting Actress for her interpretation of Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes’s I'm Not There, making her only the fifth actor in Academy history to be nominated in both acting categories in the same year. She has since added to her roster of major directors with roles in David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull (2008), Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood (2010) and Joe Wright’s Hanna (2011) before reprising her role of Galdriel in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), which is the first entry in a second trilogy of the films by Jackson inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien.
This Summer, Blanchett has delivered what may be one of the crown jewels in a career overflowing with brilliant performances as a woman who flirts with losing her mind after losing her place in moneyed society following a financial scandal in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmin. She will next be seen in George Clooney’s The Monuments Men later this year.
Following much success on the stage at The National Theatre and The Royal Shakespeare Company, Ralph Fiennes made his feature film debut starring as Heathcliff in Peter Kosminsky’s adaptation of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights opposite Juliette Binoche in 1992. One year later, he delivered a harrowing performance as concentration camp commander Amon Goeth for which he received his first Academy Award® nomination as well as winning him a BAFTA Award, the New York Critics’ Best Supporting Actor prize, the London Film Critics’ Best Actor award and the National Society of Film Critics award in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler's List. Fiennes followed by demonstrating his versatility portraying shamed quiz show cheater Charles Van Doren in Robert Redford’s Quiz Show (1994) and a cyberpunk street hustler in Kathryn Bigelow’s Strange Days (1995) before he earned second Academy Award® nomination for his role as a WWII plane crash victim who was involved in a fateful love affair in Anthony Minghella’s The English Patient (1996).
A string of varied and frequently intense roles in films continued including that of a expatriate Anglican priest in Gillian Armstrong’s Oscar and Lucinda (1997), Jeremiah S. Chechik’s The Avengers (1998) with Fiennes bringing the famous John Steed television spy character to the big screen, a jealous spurned lover in Neil Jordan’s The End of the Affair (1999), for which he received another BAFTA nomination, István Szabó’s Sunshine (1999), in which he played the male protagonist in the stories of three generations of a Hungarian Jewish family, Martha Fiennes’s Onegin (1999) (which Fiennes also produced), a mentally disturbed man in David Cronenberg’s Spider (2002), a mysterious serial killer in Bret Ratner’s Red Dragon (2002) with Anthony Hopkins and Edward Norton, a romantic comedy turn in Wayne Wang’s Maid in Manhattan (2002) opposite Jennifer Lopez, and a widower investigating his wife’s suspicious death in Fernando Meirelles’s The Constant Gardener (2005) opposite Rachel Weisz.
In 2005, Fiennes made his first appearance as Lord Voldemart in Mike Newell’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. He would continue playing the iconic villain in the three subsequent “Harry Potter” films. Other notable films during that period include Martin McDonagh’s In Burges (2008), Saul Dibbs’s The Duchess (2008) opposite Keira Knightly, Kathryn Bigelow’s Academy Award® Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker (2008), Stephen Daldry’s The Reader (2008), and Louis Leterrier’s Clash of the Titans (2010).
In 2011, Fiennes produced and made his feature film directorial debut with Coriolanus, his ambitious big screen modern day adaptation of Shakespeare’s military tragedy, receiving great notices for his handling of the material and visceral presentation as well as his performance in the film. In addition, he received a BAFTA nomination for Outstanding Directorial Debut for his work on the film.
The next year, he joined the reinvigorated James Bond series in Sam Mendes’s Skyfall, reprised his role of Hades in Jonathan Liebesman’s Wrath of the Titans and starred in Mike Newell’s Great Expectations. With The Invisible Woman, Fiennes directs and stars as Charles Dickens in this adaptation of Claire Tomalin’s revelatory 1992 biography, which brought the upright Victorian author’s secret 13-year affair with a young actress to light. Announced earlier as an official selection in NYFF’s Main Slate, the film is a Sony Pictures Classics release. Fiennes has recently completed work on Wes Anderson’s upcoming film, The Grand Budapest Hotel. Next on the horizon for Fiennes will be the final two installments of David Hare’s “The Worricker Trilogy” on the BBC. He will return alongside Bill Nighy for Turks & Caicos and Salting The Battlefield, having co-starred in the first installment, Page Eight in 2011.
The Film Society will host intimate Gala Dinners prior to both of the tributes. Attendees at the Gala Dinners will include the honorees and other VIP guests. For information on attending these exclusive events, please email Rachel Denny or call 212-875-5615.
General Public tickets to these events will be available on September 8 after a Member pre-sale period.
Support for the NYFF Gala Tribute honoring Cate Blanchett is graciously provided by ELLE. Support for the NYFF Gala Tribute honoring Ralph Fiennes is graciously provided by Esquire.