Blue Jasmine (2013)
Woody Allen’s latest film delves into the distraught and manic life of Jeanette “Jasmine” Francis (Cate Blanchett). Jasmine, as she likes to be called, is a wealthy New York socialite. Or at least she used to be. That is until her philandering and crook husband Hal (Alec Baldwin) is arrested by the FBI. Jasmine’s life spirals in consequence. Once she is left “broke” she charters a plane to San Francisco to live with her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins).
The story is told both in the present and in flashbacks. Immediately the audience is privy that not all is well with the main character. Jasmine is often seen talking to herself in the film. Ginger says she had suffered a nervous breakdown. We learn many interesting things ironically from Ginger’s children who bluntly ask their aunt personal questions. There are aspects of the scandal very reminiscent of the Bernie Madoff scandal. Hal almost seems to be a caricature of Bernie.
Augie (Andrew Dice Clay) plays Ginger’s ex-husband. It is never explicitly, explained why the couple broke up. The fact they lost all their lottery winnings in the scandal may have been a deciding factor. There are other cameos throughout the film, even by former-Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky (this one being the most ridiculous as well as an unnecessary distraction).
The viewer is often left wondering if Jasmine had any clue to what was going on; much like the speculation that Ruth Madoff had to know what her husband was doing. One wonders if she had some semblance of his crimes or if she simply looked the other way because she was glamoured by her extravagant lifestyle. Blanchett convincingly portrays the psychologically, frail woman. Jasmine takes Xanax and other prescription medication in conjunction with alcohol to cope with her present “predicament.”
The film definitely has its dramatic moments, but Allen brilliantly assuages these portions with comedic and witty genius. As you may have already inferred I vastly enjoyed this film. This is Allen’s best work since Match Point (2005). Blanchett is magnificent in her portrayal of the flawed character. Her performance certainly warrants Oscar buzz. If she isn’t nominated for an Oscar then frankly the Academy voters are dull to brilliance.
There aren’t enough words to describe my exuberance for this movie. Along with Fruitvale Station, this is one of the best movies of the year. The film was only showing in about 119 theaters nationwide (the movie will expand in the upcoming weeks). It was well worth the extra drive to watch it.
If you are a fan of Woody Allen, you should see this movie.
If you like movies in general, you should see this movie.
Even if this doesn’t necessarily seem like your type of movie because you like action blockbusters, you should still watch this movie.
Trust me, this film DOES NOT disappoint. It is well worth the price of admission. It is so good I’d be willing to watch it again in the theaters. This is Woody Allen at his finest.
Running Time: 98 minutes
My Grade: A
Will you be watching Blue Jasmine?
If you’ve already seen it what grade would you give it?
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