7. Cate Blanchett -- ‘The Aviator’
Some personalities are so distinctive, some voices so striking (i.e. Jimmy Stewart, Vincent Price, and Sam Elliott) that they practically invite caricature. Portraying these singular celebrities requires a dexterity almost impossible to find. But Cate Blanchett proved the exception with her honest, balanced depiction of Katharine Hepburn in 2004’s “The Aviator.” In channeling the screen legend, it would have been far too easy for Blanchett to be consumed in the Hepburn grandeur and the exaggerated timbre of her high-society brogue, but she captured her cocky insouciance without a trace of cheap parody. The verbal sparring between Hepburn and Hughes lead to some of the most enjoyable moments in the film (particularly the Connecticut dinner debacle) and Blanchett’s vivacious overall performance was impressive enough to earn the actress the second Oscar of her career.