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...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...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...
Here she is in full force as she switches from glamour to glare seamlessly and effortlessly. Blanchett has often played strong women and she tiptoes the line of Jasmine's strength and vulnerability both with and without sympathy. It's incredible to watch. Although I was concerned I was going to only appreciate the performance and not connect with the character, I ended up finding her struggle to feel useful in the working world and not knowing how to achieve her ambitions to cut deep into the first world human anxieties about identity and self- worth. It's great to have a film that addresses those issues so earnestly, without feeling self- pitying. Although the spotlight is on her, there's plenty of room for the supporting players to shine with the delightful comic relief performances from Louis C.K., Michael Stuhlberg and Max Casella and deceptively charming performances from Alec Baldwin, Andrew Dice Clay and Peter Sarsgaard. The real talent on the side belongs to Sally Hawkins and Bobby Cannavale who give compelling and heartbreaking performances.
I like how Allen has such confidence in his shooting style of simple wides and closeups that he doesn't let it get in the way of the story but sometimes it does feel bland rather than just Woody's brand. It sometimes feels like the story is taking uninteresting broad strokes with its archetypes but when the details come in like a mystery novel, they enrichen the story and leave just before they drown you making you want more. Perhaps Allen could've made a better job of making me intrigued in the details but that makes the pay-offs all the more sweeter. However, I'm not quite sure what to make of the ending, perhaps Allen is trying to say there's some people who can and can't be fixed, I'm not sure, but it's a fascinating tragic comic tale nonetheless. Maybe it's intended as a punishment film regarding the sin of greed. That would make sense though it wouldn't be as satisfying. It's been compared to A Streetcar Named Desire a lot but I don't remember much of that story despite having seen it twice. I think I prefer Blue Jasmine. One of Allen's most unsuspecting heavyweight films in a long time.
- Aug 9, 2013