Cate Blanchett, actress at very top of Hollywood A-list

CANNES, France – Cate Blanchett reputation as possibly the greatest actresses of her generation is being cemented further at Cannes, where the premiere of her latest movie Carol has won rave reviews.

Born in Melbourne on May 14, 1969, Blanchett began her career on the Australian stage, building up a string of acclaimed theatre performances in the early 1990s before working her way into increasingly high-profile film roles. 

She is now one of the few women in Hollywood with the clout to carry a movie single-handed, a two-time Oscar winner chased by the world's greatest directors, from Martin Scorsese to Woody Allen to David Fincher. 

Carol sees her reunited with Todd Haynes, who directed her uncanny Oscar-nominated turn as Bob Dylan in 2007's I'm Not There.

Her already-lauded performance in Carol comes at a time when women are increasingly pushing back against the male-dominated film industry. (READ: The films competing at Cannes 2015)

"Midrange films with women at the center are tricky to finance. There are a lot of people laboring under the misapprehension that people don't want to see them, which isn't true," she told Variety magazine.

Blanchett made her breakthrough performance in 1998, playing the 16th century British monarch in Elizabeth, which won her a slew of awards and her first Oscar nomination.

Only a year earlier, she had been on the public side of the barrier on her first trip to Cannes, having to blag a ticket to get into one of the premieres. 

By 1999, she was back in Cannes, but this time as a star, presenting An Ideal Husband

"I was laughing so hard, because only two years earlier, I’d been on the other side of the barricades," she told Variety. 

'Best and bravest'

She has been nominated 6 times at the Academy Awards, winning the supporting actress statuette for another pitch-perfect impression, as Katherine Hepburn in The Aviator in 2004. 

She again won the top acting prize in 2013 for her performance as the wife of a disgraced high-society mogul in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine

Blanchett has also dabbled in blockbusters, appearing in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Robin Hood, and all of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films.

She brought a devilish glee to her part as the evil stepmother in this year's Cinderella

But it is parts in more indie fare that have built her reputation, from the wealthy socialite in The Talented Mr Ripley" to the crusading Irish journalist in Veronica Guerin or another heavily-accented (and pregnant) reporter in Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

She has repeatedly returned to the stage, to similar levels of acclaim. The New York Times described her as "one of the best and bravest actresses on the planet" after watching her in 2011's production of Uncle Vanya.

Along with her writer husband Andrew Upton, Blanchett became artistic director of the Sydney Theatre Company from 2008 to 2013. The pair, who have three sons together, were credited with using their connections to bring international directors Down Under. –Eric Randolph, AFP/

Cate Blanchett photo from Jaguar PS /