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)
Many critics believe that the film is a reimagining of Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar Named Desire. Coincidentally, Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin have both appeared in productions of the play. Blanchett played Blanche in a 2009 revival by the Sydney Theatre Company, while Baldwin played Stanley in the 1992 Broadway revival. Baldwin also went on to play Stanley in the 1995 film adaptation of the play, alongside Jessica Lange as Blanche. 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 »
[breaking down crying]
I can't sleep. I... I'm a nervous wreck.
Oh for Christ's sake.
I can't get you off'a my head.
Stop it. Will you stop crying? There's people around.
I don't know what I'm gonna do without you! I don't!
Stop it, stop it! Please. Sir, would you like to sit in my office?
No! But I appreciate it anyway.
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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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