In a snippett from the podcast discussing the costumes worn by Cate Blanchett’s Lou Miller in Ocean’s 8, host Murtada Elfadl and guest Kate Halliwell discuss their favorites and call back to the homoerotic tones in the relationship between the two leads.
While the podcast is on hiatus for the next few weeks, revisit some of our more popular episodes from last year.
Ocean’s 8 and the peak of Cate Blanchett’s celebrity post Carol (2015).
Her spot on interpretation of Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator.
An early career highlight in The Talented Mr. Ripley.
The second season of the podcast has wrapped. My thanks to all my guests on this 2nd season of Sundays with Cate. Hope you enjoy all 14 episodes that we recorded. I will taking a short break and will return later in the summer. Notes on a Scandal, Carol we have a few movies we havent discussed as well as other surprises in store for Season 3 of the show.
In the meantime all episodes and show notes are available here – just scroll down or click on the right side bar for you favorite podcast app.
If you are enjoying the podcast, please consider a small donation to help us with maintenance costs. The cost of a cup of coffee, $3.00.
In a snippet from the latest podcast we talk about Cate Blanchett and that self slap from episode 5 of Mrs. America.
In a snippet from the podcast about the finale of Mrs. America Murtada and Tayler Montague discuss the possibility that Alice McCray (Sarah paulson) might have feelings fo her best friend, Phyllis Schalfly (Cate Blanchett).
The podcast will be back later in the summer. In the meantime here are our reviews of Mrs. America.
Episodes 1-3 with Tayler Montague
We are going back to the early 1970s to recap the first three episodes of Cate Blanchett’s first major TV role in the FX on Hulu show, Mrs America as polarizing right wing figure Phyllis Schalfly. We discuss her performance, the all star cast, the costumes and review the show. Murtada’s guest is writer and filmmaker Tayler Montague.
Episodes 4 & 5 with Casey Mink
In our review of episodes 4 and 5 we talk about Betty Freidan (Tracey Ullman) and Brenda Feigen Fasteau (Ari Graynor) debating Phyllis Schlafly (Blanchett). We also discuss talk Blanchett’s self slap, the fractions in the Feminist Movement, the “Tokenism” scene and many other topics. Murtada’s guest is staff writer at Backstage, Casey Mink.
Episodes 6 & 7 with Andy Stewart plus an interview with cast member Bria Samoné Henderson
This time we tackle episodes 6 and 7 of the series about Jill Ruckelshaus played by Elizabeth Banks and Bella Abzug played by Margo Martindale. Also in this episode an interview with Bria Samoné Henderson who plays activist Margaret Sloan on the show. Murtada’s guest is Andy Stewart.
Episodes 8 & 9 with Tayler Montague
To review the last two episodes of Mrs. America Murtada Elfadl welcomes back guest writer and filmmaker Tayler Montague. The TV miniseries about the fight to ratify the equal rights amendment in the 1970s is created by Dahvi Waller and stars Cate Blanchett as Phyllis Schlafly, the right wing polarizing organizer.
Follow along the show is streaming on Hulu.
- Why was this performance so well received? It was considered such an arrival of a major star. How much is the role? How much is Cate? She charts a whole journey and character arc from young woman to monarch to stateswoman to almost deity, getting the chance to play innocent, cunning, in love, betrayed; the whole gamut of emotions.
- So many actresses played this part: Bette Davis, Glenda Jackson, Anne-Marie Duff, Helen Mirren and Margot Robbie. Why is it so attractive to storytellers?
- What is the Cate moment that sealed her stardom and Oscar nomination? Basically what’s this film “I have a hurricane in me” from Elizabeth: The Golden Age?
- Ominously surrounded by men as Elizabeth is interrogated in the tower early on the film. Vacillating between fear and trying to hold it together while answering a barrage of questions.
- Her scene with Kathy Burke as Mary “I see you are a consummate actress.”
- Preparing and delivering her speech to the bishops.
- Lamenting the defeat of her troops in Scotland by Mary of Guise.
- The finale “I’ve become a virgin.“
- Did we need another Robin Hood? Which one is our favorite?
- The movie has ideas about birthright and class that are interesting. Robin is first shown as “salt of the earth” soldier with honor, compared to John who’s only talent is being born a prince. But then they give Robin a story about having a great father and “exceptional legacy”? It’s perplexing.
- The differences between what we know of Robin Hood and this version.
- Cate’s best scene is when Marion learns of her husband’s death. Max von Sydow is wonderful too receiving the same news. Their deleted scene together is poignant.
- Does Cate have chemistry with Crowe? He’s on record that she’s his best on screen kiss.
- Russell Crowe – his 5th and last movie with Scott (Gladiator, A Good Year, American Gangster, Body of Lies) – they clashed on set, his last romantic lead, his last top lining a big budget studio movie.
- Lea Seydoux and Oscar Isaac’s performances ; their intro with Eileen Atkins – talk about a stacked cast she plays Eleanor of Aquitaine – snaps the movie alive.
- What have we been watching in quarantine: Paul Mescal in Normal People.
- This is a stand-alone ep different in POV and style, with obvious allusions to Alice Through the Looking Glass.
- “We shall overcome” scene – very moving. Loved seeing all the women we spent time with during the series come together.
- Sarah Pauson’s performance and Alice’s journey – too tidy? Just right? Mix of fantasy and reality? Certainly the writers, by making her a composite character, allowed themselves the freedom to go where they couldn’t with the historical characters.
- There’s a queer undertone to the way Alice talks about Phyllis.
- Two little Feminists skit; Melanie Lynskey is so hilarious as Rosemary.
- Men are awful – is what i was thinking as I watched how Carter treated the Women’s Movement in 1979.
- “I used to feel scared,” a fantastic ending to the Alice story.
- In the elevator as Phyllis knows she has “arrived,” Cate gives us that half satisfied smile. The inverse of the end of Carol.
- Who won in the end in the battle of Phyllis vs, 2nd wave feminists and what did they win. Does the show make it clear? The show ends with both sides losing.
- The final shot.
- Check in with what we put the show “on notice” about:
- On race; they showed Phyllis reaching out to the Klan. In this ep there’s a call back to her dependence on her maid, Willie (Novie Edwards).
- Did we get enough of the main players; Steinem, Abzug and Chisolm and their contributions?
- What about the secondary characters e.g. Flo Kennedy and Margaret Sloan-Hunter?
- We rate the show and performances.
- It’s a fairytale! Many allusions to that including at the beginning Hanna reading The Grimms Tales, calling Marissa “the witch,” different allusions in the dialogue e.g. “going to grandma’s house,”, a character named Mr. Grimm, the finale with Marissa literally coming out from the mouth of the big bad wolf.
- Joe Wright – general discussion of his career. He made Pride and Prejudice, Atonement, and The Soloist before Hanna. Anna Karenina, Pan and Darkest Hour after. We discuss Anna Karenina (2012) at length which is streaming on Netflix.
- Where does this belong in the pantheon of her villain roles which includes Indianna Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), Cinderella (2015), Thor: Ragnarok (2017)?
- Whatever happened to Eric Bana?
- Saoirse Ronan – is she a Kate Winslet or a Cate Blanchett? She’s been compared to both.
- Other castmembers: Jessica Barden is delicious. Did you notice Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread) and Lady Mary from Downton Abbey?
- Tom Hollander’s enforcer with his short shorts and skinhead sidekicks. Queer, problematic or both?
“Blanchett is a riot as a Nordstrom-attired, Southern-drawled Brunhilde with scarlet helmet hair and aggressively white teeth, what ultimately makes her so harrowing—and so worthy of punishment—is her childlessness. “I made certain choices,” Marissa says, desperately justifying her careerism, before she buries a bullet in a womb-sanctified old matriarch. Hanna is the one that got away and a genetically enhanced reminder of the miserable fate that awaits the ambitious, the infertile, the dentally preoccupied.” – Eric Hynes, The Village Voice.
“Ronan enters with a face nearly as blank as paper and devoid of obvious emotion, her eerie, translucent blue eyes here transformed into opaque pool. You assume or really just hope that those eyes will reveal exciting new depths or a secret of character. That they don’t reveal much is part of the big surprise as well as a liability in a movie that is by turns startling and generic, subtle and blunt, and consistently keeps you in its grip if not its heart.” – Manohla Dargis, NY Times.Press coverage other than reviews: NY Times Magazine interview: “People are always saying they loved me in ‘Titanic.” Promotional appearances: Subscribe: Apple Podcasts / Stitcher / Spotify / iHeart Like? Rate and Review. Have a question? Leave us a comment.