Saturday, July 27, 2013

Blue Jasmine

Writer/Director Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine is brilliantly written tragedy that is brilliantly acted by Cate Blanchett in what could be considered her crowning achievement to date.
In her portrayal of Jasmine, Blanchett is able to evoke the pain and agony of a woman who is stepping back and forth over the line between mental breakdown and lucidity with a dignity that doesn’t make the audience squirm uncomfortably until the very end.   

On the contrary, we are riveted with her story and are able to laugh throughout.  Although, I must say, much of the laughter is misplaced, perhaps because we aren’t able to understand the type of neurosis from which Jasmine suffers in the same way the uptight media pundits don’t understand the type of addiction from which one of New York’s mayoral candidates suffers.  So, instead of offering understanding and help, they laugh and castigate in the same way the characters around Jasmine do.
It is astounding how Woody Allen’s films have relevance to current life.  And, that is his genius.  However, Woody does offer a bleak picture of the human condition.  Everyone in this film is a loser without exception.  They connive, settle for less than they deserve and opt to survive instead of live.  And, poor Jasmine ends up…  Well, go and see this extraordinary tour de force.

Blanchett is backed up by superb performances from Sally Hawkins, Alec Baldwin and Bobby Cannavale and the excellent Production Design of Santo Loquasto.

I give Blue Jasmine a well-deserved 4 out of 5.

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