In August, Quentino Tarantino gave a rather epic interview to New York Magazine, which was some kind of preview of the fall and winter movies, including his film The Hateful Eight. It was a long-winded conversation about the industry, celebrities, the cycle of independent-versus-studio films and all of that. In the middle of one of QT’s monologues, he dropped in an insult towards Cate Blanchett. Here are his words in context:
The movies that used to be treated as independent movies, like the Sundance movies of the ’90s — those are the movies that are up for Oscars now. Stuff like The Kids Are All Right and The Fighter. They’re the mid-budget movies now, they just have bigger stars and bigger budgets. They’re good, but I don’t know if they have the staying power that some of the movies of the ’90s and the ’70s did. I don’t know if we’re going to be talking about The Town or The Kids Are All Right or An Education 20 or 30 years from now. Notes on a Scandal is another one. Philomena. Half of these Cate Blanchett movies — they’re all just like these arty things. I’m not saying they’re bad movies, but I don’t think most of them have a shelf life. But The Fighter or American Hustle — those will be watched in 30 years.
While Notes on a Scandal is not something that can be watched over and over again, it’s an incredible movie and both Cate and Judi Dench give brilliant performances in it. It really wasn’t the film to name-check, you know? Anyway, Cate sat down with Vulture/New York Magazine to promote her movies, and of course they asked her about Tarantino’s words. I love her more for her response. Some highlights from the piece:
Whether Cate reads criticism of her performances: “There’s a difference between being accountable to your audience and becoming obsessed with how you’re received, and with the latter, that way lies creative death. But being accountable to your audience is really important, and I think maybe that comes from years and years of doing theater: You can tell when you’re losing an audience, just as you can tell when they’re really with you and surfing the same wave — which is thrilling. It’s taken me a long time to accept that you’re never going to quite have that same visceral understanding of your audience in the cinema. Initially, I thought I’d be able to get that from critics, but you can’t.”
Whether people criticize her to her face: “Except if someone stops you in the supermarket! Sometimes people say, “Oh, I’m really sorry, I don’t want to bother you,” but I’m like, “No, I’m interested!” And they don’t always like my films. Sometimes they say, “I didn’t like blah blah blah,” and I’m like, “Okay, and … ?” But you’ve got to know, and you probably feel the same way, that there are around five people you should really listen to, and you want them to tell you the hard sh-t in addition to, “That was really good.” In the end, the praise is far more difficult to handle than the criticism. The criticism I know what to do with.”
On Tarantino’s criticism: “Well, he’s entitled to his opinion….It’s like horses for courses, not everyone’s gonna like what you do. Was it Louis Malle who said, “It takes as much effort to make a bad film as it does to make a good film”? That’s just his opinion. I guess.”
I like that she gave the impression that she was aware of what Tarantino had said and had already shrugged it off. It’s not like she’s going to beef with him about his words when ultimately, QT was just talking out of his ass. She knows that. Plus, anyone who dismisses Cate’s films while in the same breath praises David O. Russell deserves to be shrugged off. Different strokes, etc.
Photos courtesy of WENN.