Oscars 2014: Cate Blanchett wins best actress

The Blue Jasmine actress beat off competition from Amy Adams, Sandra Bullock, Judi Dench and Meryl Streep at the 86th Academy Awards

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Oscars 2014: Cate Blanchett wins best actress
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Blue Jasmine's Cate Blanchett has taken home the Oscar for best actress. 

The 44-year-old Australian actress won over the Academy voters for her turn as neurotic divorcée Jasmine French who falls on hard times and moves in with her sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins, a fellow Oscars nominee), after her wealthy husband (Alec Baldwin) is exposed as a fraudster.

Blanchett - now a two-time Oscar-winner after taking home the best supporting gong for The Aviator back in 2004 - beat off competition from this year's nominees Amy Adams (American Hustle), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena) and Meryl Streep (August: Osage County). 

Speaking on stage after collecting her award from Daniel Day-Lewis, Blanchett paid tribute to her fellow nominees, Adams who "blew my mind" and Bullock ("I could watch that performance to the end of time").

She continued by thanking her director -  "I'm here accepting an award in an extraordinary screenplay by Woody Allen" - and "the sublime" Sally Hawkins and extraordinary cast of Blue Jasmine."

And before leaving the stage, Blanchett finished by stating, "To the audiences who went to see it and perhaps those of us in the industry who are foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the centre are niche experiences. Audiences want to see them and in fact they earn money."

Blue Jasmine - directed by Woody Allen, a four-time Oscar-winner himself - also saw the veteran filmmaker pick up another nomination for best original screenplay, up against American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club, Nebraska and eventual winner, Her.