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.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
The only non-Best Picture nominee for the year to be nominated for Best Original Screenplay. See more »
When Ginger, Jasmine, Chili and Eddie are at the clams restaurant, Eddie asks Jasmine what would she be if she had finished her education. She answers: "an anthropologist". Eddie ignorantly asks: Really, digging up fossils?" Jasmine replies mockingly: "That's an archeologist". She is wrong. The correct answer would be "That's a paleontologist", the right science that studies fossils. Jasmine shows that she as is "imperfect" and "ignorant" as those she belittles. See more »
Anxiety, nightmares and a nervous breakdown, there's only so many traumas a person can withstand until they take to the streets and start screaming.
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Black Snake Swing
aka "Black Snake Blues"
Composed by Victoria Spivey
Performed by Joe Oliver (as King Oliver)
Courtesy of The Verve Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises See more »
Blanchett under the influence
It's a great and unexpected surprise when Woody can beat both the Coens and the French these days in a film about delusion and self. I'm not a fan of his overall trajectory and predilections, but I won't deny any film its effectiveness.
Woody here pierces through to the essential thing. It's a film about modern suffering but that is clearly seen here as attachment to internal narrative, not just a general thickness around being. He maintains inextricability; it is both her fault and a life of circumstance with no clean separation. The woman still carries echoes of that previous narrative around her, soon it becomes clear that the explanatory flashbacks are hallucinated after the fact.
Overall Woody here arrives at a tender admission. It would be all too easy to discard or condemn her as pampered and sheltered, this is only part of the thrust here. He doesn't romanticize privilege the way Sofia Coppola is prone to, another plus: we're called to sympathize with more than a victim. The admission is that life in its course of being lived leaves indelible marks in the story of who you are, that this is only real to the extend that you inhabit the story, and yet that's it's genuinely hard to distinguish one self from the other.
He doesn't give this internal world to us with particular visual richness, few filmmakers his age do. There is 'color and shape', tied to the narrator's vivid imagination who aspires to be an 'interior designer', but Woody could have done so much more with the logic of memory. No, the real effect here is geared in the combination of asking the multilayered Blanchett to inhabit a character who inhabits and continuously recalls a story. She's marvelous. She seems to know the degree to which Jasmine blurs the recalled story to be only about color and appearances is the same one to which she blurs the current one, true love from convenience, responsibility from mere absent-mindedness, all these Blanchett truly, genuinely blurs around the character she inhabits.
It's deceptively easy to consume this thinking Jasmine knew in advance or was never in love, be aware and sensitive to this difference. It blooms once you reflect back on it, inhabit her world instead of pass through with moral superiority, because doing this means that your own tools of defining truth must be called into judgement.
It's a fine film, much better than the hollow inhabiting of his Midnight. This one cuts. A Woman Under the Influence appears to have been a template, Jasmine's muttering to herself on the street is a reference. Like that film, it is as much the filmmaker's as the actresses' creation, impossible without the richness Blanchett fleshes with.
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