|July 26, 2013|
|Sony Pictures Classics|
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, language and sexual content
Dark, quippy, and cathartic, “Blue Jasmine” is a Woody Allen film, through and through. When all but oblivious Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) is forced to give up her lavish lifestyle with her mover and shaker husband, Hal (Alec Baldwin) and move in with her lower middle class sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins), she teeters on the edge of her sanity while descending into alcoholism. “Blue Jasmine” is impressively intricate, written in the form of flashbacks, which are tied to the present by the plot point that Jasmine is reliving these moments when triggered, while essentially standing on the street talking to herself. There is a deep, dark humor in the dialogue and editing choices, with very funny reaction shots and the raving and ranting that we’re accustomed to in a Woody Allen script, along with a strong allusion to “A Streetcar Named Desire”.
Cate Blanchett is the star of the film, and I mean that in all of its glory, as she truly makes this role her own. She exudes a beauty and radiance in her flashback scenes, while she delivers the perfect sullen, bag lady renditions in her present scenes, and utterly impresses with every turn of phrase, begging the question whether she’ll get an Oscar nod for this performance. The cast is filled with strong performances as Sally Hawkins and Peter Sargaard impressive with their memorable supporting roles, while Louis C.K. and Andrew Dice Clay prove, above anyone else, that they belong in the world of Woody Allen, offering some of the most subtle, humorous performances of the entire bunch. Instantly becoming one of my favorite Woody Allen ventures, its reminds of his previous successes, especially that of “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”. With humor and heart all its own, “Blue Jasmine” will be hard to top.