The movie premiered yesterday in Berlin, unfortunately Cate Blanchett didn’t attend either the press conference or the premiere. But now we have the first info about Blanchett’s character: Nancy.
Rick (Christian Bale) is a Hollywood writer pursuing a vapid Hollywood lifestyle while simultaneously having an existential crisis. He has a fraught relationship with his father, a pastor (Brian Dennehy), and an emotionally high-register one with his brother (Wes Bentley), seemingly informed by the long-ago suicide of a third brother. And he has his women, a long parade of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood (Imogen Poots, Freida Pinto, Teresa Palmer, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Isabel Lucas, and others) who dance around him successively, doing a better job of separating the film into discernible chapters than the oddly unnecessary headings, which are named for cards of the Tarot — “The High Priestess,” “The Tower,” “Judgment” “Death,” and so on. Formally, it is even more abstract than previous Malick efforts, with on-camera dialogue kept to the barest minimum and the cast instead contributing poetic, banal, or philosophical voiceover to the soundtrack, lines which overlap, fade up, and fade down into music and silence, contributing to the sense of the film as a philosophical fugue state.
Sometimes, however, life breaks through. Blanchett has little screen time, but in her few scenes she is a jolt of realism, an actual woman amid so many muses.
Bale plays Rick, in the midst of a career-breakthrough into being super-hot and super-rich. But he has lost it after the collapse of his marriage to Nancy (Cate Blanchett) – a brainy hospital doctor nobly treating unfamous, unpretty people. He is also tormented by agonised relationships with dad (Brian Dennehy) and brother (Wes Bentley).
via The Guardian
Malick films in dance and pole-dancing clubs, at fashion shoots poolside at a luxury villa overlooking the city and at glitzy parties. He also shoots in a medical ward where Rick’s first wife played by Cate Blanchett, from whom he splits because they can’t have children, tends to the poor and homeless.
All those naked women serve a deeper purpose.
Bale’s character certainly has his pick of babes: In addition to Portman, there’s Imogen Poots, Freida Pinto, Cate Blanchett, Teresa Palmer, Katia Winter, and plenty more, all in various states of undress. He also gets intimate with Portman’s toes, which he tenderly sucks on during one of their lusty onscreen moments. (“Very nice,” he remarked when asked about the taste of her little piggies.)
So what was behind all this T&A? “We had such incredibly soulful and intelligent actresses playing these roles,” said Bale. “Women were clearly, um, Rick’s primary source of life.” Explained Portman, “Rick’s journey reflects the great diversity of the types of people—male and female—you find in Los Angeles, from the superficiality at a Hollywood party, and how women are treated there, to Cate Blanchett’s character, who has soul, generosity, and humanity,” said Portman. “The city can encompass both those extremes.”
A more substantial kind of romantic drama emerges along with the film’s two top-billed actresses: Cate Blanchett surfaces in flashback as Rick’s ex-wife, a hard-working doctor whom we see growing disenchanted with her increasingly unmoored spouse, while Natalie Portman appears later on as Elizabeth, a married woman who has a brief fling with Rick and finds herself pregnant and guilt-stricken shortly thereafter.
Despite the strong emotional undercurrents in these scenes, the feeling persists that these excellent actors — particularly Blanchett, her striking features and natural expressiveness fascinatingly at odds with the prevailing aesthetic — are being confined by their fundamentally archetypal roles.
via TV Grapevine