Episode 051

GOOD: ELIZABETH

Category is: Greatest Living Actress. For all the Meryls, Juliannes and Sally Kirklands, there's another whose name gets on that list. She's Galadriel, she's Carol Aird, heck she's even Bob Dylan! She's Cate Blanchett. Brian is a sucker for a plummy mid-Atlantic accent. Seán is hesitant. Or is he? He really can't remember, either way he saw the CHARLOTTE GREY trailer way too many times.

In her breakthrough role as Queen Elizabeth Numero Uno, Blanchett has notes of Streep, a hint of G. Jackson and that certain mouthfeel of a full-bodied Aussie that only an Antipodean lends to a legendary Anglo Saxon. ELIZABETH is not subtle, but it gets you drunk, perks you up and makes you feel a little sexy. And isn't that all you want in a Shiraz and an Actress?

BAD: VERONICA GUERIN

It is said that every Irish person remembers where they were when crusading journalist Veronica Guerin was killed. But when the Cate Blanchett movie about Veronica was released, it seems that not enough people remembered to go to the cinema… Despite being a Jerry Bruckheimer/Joel Schumacher Hollywood production, the film has some estimable Irish credentials: authentic Dublin locations, an impeccable accent from Cate… and Brenda feckin’ Fricker as her Mam!!!

Not so much a “bad” movie as a horribly worthy one, it does feature small pleasures like Colin Farrell’s sexy neck tattoos and Cate’s Princess Diana hairdo. Brian learned a lot about the Irish underworld, but Seán still can’t get the maudlin sounds of “Fields of Athenry” out of his ears. Saint Veronica, pray for us!!

CRAZY: HANNA

With an actress of a particular brilliance there's a special register of performance called "good-bad" acting. That's right, GOOD and BAD at exactly the same time (for more examples of this, please check out Meryl Streep's entire body of work post-DEVIL WEARS PRADA).

In the case of Cate, we have HANNA. A frenetic, baffling, high-octane and enjoyable thriller with our favourite Irish cailín, Saoirse Ronan, out there breaking people's necks like all girls do at that age. In Blanchett's Marisa Wiegler we get a drawl so far south that voiceless alveolar stops are practically non-existent! In place of of /t/ sounds we get kitten heels, a great wig and an unstoppable urge to neutralise a little girl. Hanna? More like HAMMA! But we loooove what she doooooees.