Monday, August 05, 2013

Film Review: "Blue Jasmine"



Writer/Director: Woody Allen
Cast: Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Louis C.K., Bobby Cannavale, Andrew Dice Clay, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tammy Blanchard, Max Casella, Alden Ehrenreich
 

I loved this movie!!! One of Woody Allen's best movies ever and on par with Annie Hall.  Another personality study of a neurotic woman played brilliantly by Cate Blanchett.  She is definitely in the running for a "Best Actress" Academy Award. This movie is, in many ways, a tragedy masquerading as a comedy that viewers will really have a hard choice deciding to laugh or cry at the ending. Below is part of the extensive review by The Hollywood Reporter that sets the stage for the rest of the film:
...Jasmine, a fortyish blond beauty who once ruled the New York social roost as the wife of billionaire financier Hal (Alec Baldwin) and has now been reduced to pennilessness and disgrace with the collapse of her husband's empire and his suicide in prison.The two worlds are sharply contrasted through the film's intercutting of past and present. When first seen, Jasmine is in first class on a plane heading to San Francisco, but her ultimate destination is a small apartment in a dodgy part of town where, as a last resort, she'll stay with her grocery-bagger sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins). Biologically, they aren't actually related, as both were adopted from different sets of birth parents, with Jasmine drawing the winning genetic hand in all departments. Needing a drink in her hand at all times, Jasmine confesses to have had a nervous breakdown and is still experiencing persistent aftershocks, insisting, “I can't be alone.”
The film is a morality play of sorts. The parallels to the Madoff scandal are as apparent as references to  "A Street Car Named Desire". What happens to Jasmine at the end of the picture was really never in doubt. I must say Blanchett's character is someone that I, and anyone who has worked at the high end of fashion, have seen occupying quite a few front row seats at New York fashion shows.

Speaking of fashion, there was more high end fashion accessories on view than ever seen before in a Woody Allen movie - - from Lous Vuitton to Fendi to Chanel. I wonder if those companies actually paid a fee to have the specific items shown? It could have helped Woody finance the film! The Hermes Birkin bag alone, which she carried throughout the movie, should have got a special credit at the end of the film. One false note - the Kate Blanchett character would never wear a jeweled "belt" with the name "Chanel" spelled out in letters around her waist.

I only have one question about this movie. Why was Alec Baldwin headlined over Catt Blanchett in the credits to this film? Of course I know the answer, but it still annoys me.

- Ernest Schmatolla


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