Friday, August 30, 2013

Movie Review Madness: Blue Jasmine

Blue Jasmine is Cate Blanchett's ticket for an Oscar nomination. She is Jasmine and she's a blue, depressed fascinating mess. Woody Allen wrote and directed this film and like Midnight in Paris, he's on top of his game. He can write funny angst and elicits superb performances from his cast.

Jasmine is forced to move into her sister's apartment, since her husband (Alec Baldwin) committed financial fraud. In flashback we see the glorious life she had - fancy homes, the Hamptons, jewels, charity work. She was in New York society, and certainly had no time for her sister (Sally Hawkins). Now Jasmine is popping pills and still can't face reality. She finds her sister's current boyfriend, Chili (Bobby Canavale), appalling and she thought the ex - Augie (Andrew Dice Clay) was a loser too. Unfortunately, as seen on the screen, the real loser was Alec Baldwin - a shyster, schemer, cheater.

The sister is in love, is happy, supports her boys, and is fine with her life until she starts looking at it through Jasmine's eyes. For a brief period, she questions her decisions, but fortunately has enough common sense to appreciate what she has. Meanwhile, Jasmine has no clue about real work, real dating, and she's haunted by her past - thus often found talking to herself in public.

This is a character study and Cate Blanchett gives a tour de force performance. The ups and downs are cringeworthy. Great lines and great acting from all concerned. Woody Allen creates slice of life and exposes the good and the bad in human beings. And it's sad. And it's funny. Blue Jasmine is a great early kick-off for fall movie season. Get your ticket and run with it.

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