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)
Because Woody Allen doesn't get into motivation or background of a character when he's directing actors, Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins got together and invented the background for the sisters' relationship. So every scene when they talked about their past, although it's vague on the script and for the viewer, they both knew exactly what the sisters are talking about. See more »
When Ginger, Jasmine, Chilli 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 »
You can do better than Chili and his drunken loser friends.
If I thought I could do better, I would. So far no one's beating my door down. You know, he's sexy and he doesn't steal.
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One of the better movies Woody Allen has put out in recent years, featuring superior performances by Cate Blanchett as an emotionally unstable woman forced to come down from her privileged past and Sally Hawkins as her enabling lower-income sister. Allen's screenplay is often amusing although it meanders at times (I looked at my watch more than once during the screening I attended) and its story seems uncomfortably reminiscent of "A Streetcar Named Desire" with Blanchett in the Blanche DuBois role, Sally Hawkins as Stella, Peter Sarsgaard as Mitch and Bobby Cannavale as Stanley Kowalski. It lacks the dramatic power and sexual tension of Tennessee Williams' masterpiece and in the end, Allen's urbane sophistication doesn't make up for it.
There is a tendency in recent years to either over-praise Allen or rip him to shreds. I don't think this film deserves either fate, being an enjoyably diverting if occasionally pretentious and derivative comedy/drama. It may not belong in the pantheon of great Woody Allen movies like "Annie Hall" or "Manhattan" but it's no "Curse of the Jade Scorpion" or "Celebrity" either. If it didn't have the Woody Allen brand on it, I suspect that it would quickly come and go without notice as a fairly well-made independent drama with some nice acting that has some gripping sequences while ultimately being a little on the dull side. Because of Allen's enduring reputation, it will probably pick up an Oscar nomination or two (for Blanchett's performance and for Allen's questionably "original" screenplay) because Allen's name still carries cache with the taste arbiters. It had too many dull stretches and redundant exchanges for that kind of attention for my money, but its high points made me feel like there were worse ways to spend an hour and a half.
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