Cate Blanchett made the screen flap during the Katherine Hepburn segments of "The Aviator." The Australian actress isn't particularly pretty but she makes directors and audiences happy.
Scorsese worked effectively with Blanchett and DiCaprio as well as with Alda and Baldwin. Later I wondered "How did he keep it aloft for 3 hours?" Also, "Why did I give a ** about the soulless Hughes?" Agh. That's Hollywood's gift: giving us a cad with enough surrounding fireworks so that we overlook the black hole.