Blue Jasmine (2013)
Jasmine French used to be on the top of the heap as a New York socialite, but now is returning to her estranged sister in San Francisco utterly ruined. As Jasmine struggles with her haunting memories of a privileged past bearing dark realities she ignored, she tries to recover in her present. Unfortunately, it all proves a losing battle as Jasmine's narcissistic hangups and their consequences begin to overwhelm her. In doing so, her old pretensions and new deceits begin to foul up everyone's lives, especially her own.
The former socialite Jasmine travels from New York to San Francisco to stay in the simple house of her sister Ginger that lives with her two sons. Jasmine was married with the successful businessman Hal who fell in disgrace for being considered a crook and committed suicide in prison. Jasmine is completely broken and mentally unstable with recollection from her previous social life and uses anti-depressive along the day. Jasmine does not approve of Ginger's boyfriend Chili that she considers a loser, the same feeling she had with Ginger's ex-husband Augie. Jasmine has no profession to work and support herself and she accepts the position of receptionist in a dentist's clinic. When Jasmine is invited to a party, she asks Ginger to go with her. Ginger meets the sound engineer Al that she believes is a better catch than Chili. Meanwhile the gold-digger Jasmine meets the diplomat Dwight and she believes she will advance in her social position.
Jasmine from New York who lives in a fashionable society moves to San Francisco to live with her sister after she is completely broke and having issues of nervous breakdown. Jasmine is struggling with her past memories but she wants to put aside all those haunted memories and wants to start a new life just from the scratch but in doing so she chooses the path of deceit and fouls up everyone's lives.
When she was younger, Jasmine, who changed her name from Jeanette, dropped out of college to marry Hal, a single father to infant Danny. Because of Hal's financial standing from his business ventures, Jasmine had never had to work. They broke up when Hal went to prison for his white collar crimes, about which Jasmine was somewhat oblivious as it did not pertain to her at-the-moment happiness. Those crimes resulted in them losing all their money. The loss of money ended up being only one of the issues in the marriage. Hal was able to commit suicide in prison, while Jasmine, unable to cope with her new penniless lot in life, had a nervous breakdown, her emotional instability manifesting itself in heavy drinking and she often talking to herself about the happier times without she knowing she is doing so. While Jasmine and Hal were living the high life in Manhattan, Jasmine had no time for her San Francisco residing working class sister Ginger - both Jeanette and Ginger having been adopted into their family - and Ginger's handyman/mover husband, Augie, who aspired to owning his own contracting business. Ginger and Augie have also since split largely due to money issues, they having invested $200,000 in what they now know was one of Hal's fraudulent ventures. Following her hospitalization, Jasmine makes the decision to move in with Ginger and her two adolescent children in San Francisco until she gets back on her feet, however long that may take. A question is if Jasmine can mesh her lack of skills with her grand visions for herself while maintaining some sense of sanity. Another question is what effect Jasmine being back in her life will have on Ginger, especially regarding Ginger's relationship with her current boyfriend Chili, a mechanic who wants to marry her, but who Jasmine sees as just the latest in Ginger's choice of loser boyfriends.
After her marriage to a wealthy businessman collapses, New York socialite Jasmine flees to San Francisco and the modest apartment of her sister, Ginger. Although she's in a fragile emotional state and lacks job skills, Jasmine still manages to voice her disapproval of Ginger's boyfriend, Chili. Jasmine begrudgingly takes a job in a dentist's office, while Ginger begins dating a man who's a step up from Chili.
A New York socialite, deeply troubled and in denial, arrives in San Francisco to impose upon her sister. She looks a million, but isn't bringing money, peace, or love...
- As the film opens we are in an airplane watching a woman named Jasmine (Cate Blanchett), dressed in a white Chanel suit, jewelry and personality all screaming wealth, as she talks nonstop to people that do not know her, nor appear interested in her story. After all, she is not engaging them in an actual conversation, just expects them to pay rapt attention as she complains. We follow Jasmine from the plane to baggage-claim, then to a cab, which lets her off in front of a rather seedy apartment in San Francisco overhead a store. By the time Jasmine exits the taxi, wheeling $10,000 worth of Louis Vuitton luggage, Woody Allen has already provided us with a basic understanding of the backstory for Jasmine French as a former New York socialite, whose fall from that world was so complete that she sees no option but to move in with her blue-collar sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins).
It is soon made clear to the viewers that Jasmine not only feels the apartment is not remotely up to her standards, but has no more fondness for her sister than for her residence. We see that Ginger has always felt envious of her sister, she was the pretty one, the golden-girl, one with a sense of style that helped her land a millionaire husband and the accompanying lifestyle. The story is told in part through flashbacks that reveal her former life and the secrets behind its rise and fall. When you are on top of the world, clearly it's a long way down.
In one of the flashbacks, we are shown a time when Ginger and her former husband, Augie, (Andrew Dice Clay), had made a rare visit to New York to see her sister. Jasmine made little secret of her lack of interest in spending time with them; her rich husband Hal (Alec Baldwin) sent them off in a limousine to tour the city, then paid for a hotel rather than having the guests stay in their home. The following day at Hal's country estate in the Hamptons, Augie proudly tells how he has won $200,000 in the lottery and plans to use that money to start his own construction company. Jasmine suggests that Augie invest the total amount in a new... and obviously to the audience, shady... business venture of Hal's. Riding back in the chauffeured limo, Ginger chances to see Hal leave a restaurant with another woman and kiss her, confirming that he's cheating on Jasmine.
We gradually see how Jasmine's life of privilege and wealth unraveled. Her husband's thefts, financial maneuvering and schemes grew more and more dangerous, business partners removed themselves from his projects stating they feared prison, but Jasmine maintained her willful ignorance and denial to what was happening. Hal's infidelities, however, proved too much for her, and in revenge she reported his corporate fraud to the law. He was arrested, and his racket was publicly exposed causing scandal and outrage. Jasmine's property, homes, and lavish belongings were seized. Jasmine and Hal's son, feeling shamed and disgraced by his father's crimes, quit Harvard and disappeared without a trace. Augie's $200K was lost and with it all hopes of owning his own business; he and Ginger parted ways.
In present day San Francisco, Jasmine begins a relationship with Dwight (Peter Saarsgard) - successful, wealthy and with political ambitions - whom she sees as a chance of regaining her former glory. She invents a back history involving her husband's career as a surgeon, his death from a heart attack (in reality, he committed suicide in jail) and her career as an interior decorator. Soon, Dwight recommends they get married, which thrills Jasmine. Meanwhile, Ginger dumps her likable blue-collared boyfriend, Chili (Bobby Canavale), due largely to Jasmine's criticisms, and begins dating the equally likable Al (Louis C.K.), who turns out to be married, which destroys their relationship. In the end, she returns to Chili.
Jasmine's chance of marriage is destroyed when the vindictive Augie reveals her lies to Dwight. At this point, it is evident that all paths of redemption for Jasmine are gone. Dwight takes the truth very badly and ends his engagement to Jasmine, who yet again has an emotional meltdown. In the final scene, we watch as Jasmine walks out of Ginger's apartment, her Channel suit disheveled, and sits alone on a park bench, talking to herself again... lost in her own neurotic world without hope.
--Lane J. Lubell of Cinemashadow.com