Blue Jasmine Reviews

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FiLmCrAzY
Super Reviewer
July 2, 2013
Woody Allen's movies have never appealed to me, as they have always come across as a tiny bit artsy and often unsatisfactory.
For me it is Blanchett that makes this depressingly sad movie enjoyable. Blanchett is phenomenal and although her ditsy character should make you want to hate her, you can't help but feel sorry for her and feel she is slightly misunderstood!
The mental instability of the character is brilliantly portrayed by the exceptionally talented Blanchett however that's where the good points stop! Blanchett is amazing and although it is an interesting drama you can't help but feel so unsatisfied and angry about the ending. Yes it pretty much ends the way it started and yes its good that the movie didn't end with a typical happy hollywood spin but it would have been nice for some happiness in this dark and depressingly beautiful drama. There really is no light at the end of this dark tunnel !
ajaymuthecooldevils
Super Reviewer
August 20, 2014
Surprisingly good drama from Woody Allen about post-traumatic life that make an ex-housewife struggle to pick up the pieces about the life that she had before.. A remarkably strong performance from Cate Blanchett, as she already an Oscar winner before, no doubt that she portraying the leading role in this movie really well.. Truly deserve all the credit and the awards awarded to her.. While Sally Hawkins' performance in this movie is some scene-stealer and for me she did it..
Super Reviewer
½ May 19, 2014
Couldn't ignore a Woody Allen flick that's applauded this much. Apparently, to each, their own. The characters felt relatively realistic, thanks to the performances, but that wasn't enough. The story could have used some humor than so much sarcasm. After a point, it gets repetitive and begins to irritate. Too low on story and entertainment to be rated more than 0.5/5.
Super Reviewer
½ March 17, 2014
As a filmmaker, I adore Woody Allen and pretty much everything that he has directed since the beginning of time. His characters are eclectic, his films often feature women in leading roles, there's a fierceness and ferocity to those characters who are going through troubles, and self-examination is key. Loosely based on "A Streetcar Named Desire," and showing it very easily, this film follows the story of Jasmine (Blanchett) who loses everything thanks to her philandering husband, and has to move in with her sister Ginger (Hawkins) while she recuperates. Jasmine is very much like Blanche DuBois in that she is sophisticated, prone to crazed antics, and blames everything on everyone else but herself. Her sister has no sympathy, neither do her peers, and she finds herself falling down a deep rabbit hole that she can't escape. Her deep layers of lies and betrayal land her in trouble with everyone she meets, and eventually she can't keep them all straight. There's a great side plot for her sister, who doesn't want to settle for her boyfriend since Jasmine has low regard for him. The entire film is just watching her decline, seeing flashbacks of her life as a wife and stepmother, a socialite unaware of her husband's misdeeds. It's troubling to watch karma take a helm, and not at all satisfying in the end, much like the Tennesse William's play. Tragic and yet beautiful, Jasmine really is a lovely name.
Super Reviewer
March 17, 2014
The first Woody Allen film that did not make me cringe. Quite tender, with a fantastic ensemble cast. Cate deserved her Oscar. She did a bang up job with this character..but when doesn't she really?
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
½ September 6, 2013
With writer/director Woody Allen's proliferate output, cranking out a movie every year, it's all too easy to take the man for granted. Critics will argue his halcyon days are long gone, that the man is coasting on his past laurels. Of course when you're comparing everything to Manhattan, Annie Hall, or Crimes and Misdemeanors, well sure most movies will be found lacking, even Allen's. And there's no real forgiving of 2001's Curse of the Jade Scorpion. But when Allen hits a rich topic with a capable cast, he can still produce knockout cinema, as is exactly the case with the engrossing Blue Jasmine.

Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) is experiencing a tumultuous change of living. Her wealthy husband Hal (Alec Baldwin) has been indicted for a Ponzi scheme that fleeced millions. Her posh New York lifestyle has vanished, Uncle Sam has frozen the assets that haven't been repossessed, and she's forced to move in with her working class sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins), in San Francisco. Jasmine immediately has her complaints, mostly about the men that Ginger seems to date. She also tries adapting to a life she has been ill prepared for. Much like a domesticated animal, Jasmine's social skills and pricy tastes do not have real-world transitions into her getting a job and supporting herself. She's looking for a way to re-enter the shrine of privilege, and that it through a man of means.

Blue Jasmine is a fascinating character study of a life of self-delusion, denial, greed, and guilt, and it is a marvelous film. Allen hasn't done something this cutting, this precise in several years and it's a reminder at just how skilled the man can be at building magnetic, fully realized characters, especially women. This is a rich, complex, and juicy character for an actress of the caliber of Blanchett (Hanna) to go wild with. Jasmine is something of a modern-day Blanch DuBois with a sprinkling of Jay Gatsby; she's a woman who's become accustomed to a luxurious fantasy world that she's still striving to recreate, but she also is a woman who reinvented herself. As we learn in the opening scene, Jasmine left school without finishing her degree when Hal whisked her off her feet, to a world of privilege. She even changed her name from Jeanette to Jasmine at her husband's whim. She also became particularly adept at looking the other way when it concerned her husband's shady dealings. Surely she must have known what was happening (in the end, it's pretty clear) but as long as her illusion of wealth was maintained then it was easy to not ask questions. Why ruin a good thing, even if that good thing is built upon ruining the lives of ordinary people? Two of those people bilked of their money were Ginger and Augie (Andrew Dice Clay), which make Jasmine's complicity all the more troubling. Every line of dialogue from Jasmine needs to be studied and dissected, analyzing how buried is the real Jasmine.

Jasmine's declining mental state is also given much attention and curiosity. We are watching in full view a woman go through various stages of a nervous breakdown. She's medicating herself via booze and a cocktail of prescription drugs, but there are hints that point to something other than substances at play. She hints at undergoing electric chock therapy (does this still exist?) and she may have a touch of mental illness as well, though it's unclear. Jasmine is given to talking to herself, reciting anecdotes and patter from previous parties with the rich and fabulous. It could be a sign of madness or it could be a desperate attempt by Jasmine to zone out, to return to that former life, to relive her former glory. Personally, I've done something similar, recited old conversations out loud to myself, though usually a line or so, not to the degree of recitation that Jasmine engages in. In the opening, it's revealed that the lady she's sitting next to on the plane, who we assume she's talking with, is really just a bystander. She tells her husband she was confused because Jasmine was really just talking to herself. As Jasmine tries to get back on her feet, with delusions of grandeur about reinventing herself again, her world seems to be collapsing around her as she struggles to adapt to the real working world. A receptionist job for a dentist is beneath her as well as far too much for her to handle. She has one real sincere heart-to-heart where she lays out her true feelings, and it's to her nephews in a pizza shop with no other adult present: "There's only so many traumas a person can withstand until they take to the streets and start screaming.

An enthralling character study, but Blue Jasmine also benefits from Allen's precise plotting, folding back into flashbacks to create contrast and revelations. There is an economical finesse to Allen's writing and directing. Every scene is short and sweet and imparts key knowledge, keeping the plot moving and fresh. It also provides back-story in a manner that feels unobtrusive. Jasmine's more modest living conditions with her sister are contrasted with apartment shopping in New York City's Upper West side. The class differences between Jasmine and her sister are put on full display when Ginger and Augie visit New York. However, Allen isn't only lambasting the out-of-touch rich elite here. Few characters escape analysis. In this story, everyone is pretending to be someone else, putting on fronts, personas, to try and puff themselves up. Once living with her sophisticated sister, Ginger starts seeing her world with new eyes, mainly finding dissatisfaction and a yearning that she could do better. She meets Al (Louis C.K.) at a fancy party and gets smitten, though he's not what he seems. She dumps her current boyfriend, buying into Jasmine's theory that she "dates losers because that's what she thinks she deserves." She tries to remodel herself into a posh, inaccurate version of herself, a knockoff on Jeanette to Jasmine. It's a bad fit. The person with the most integrity in the entire film appears to be, surprise, Andrew Dice Clay's character. Augie is a straightforward blue-collar guy but he has a clear sense of right and wrong, one that comes in handy when he's able to bust people.

This is much more a dramatic character study than a typical Allen comedy of neurosis, but I want to add that there are a number of laughs to be had, mostly derisive. There is comedy but it's of a tragicomedy vibe, one where we laugh at the social absurdities of self-deluded characters and the irony of chance encounters. It's far less bubbly than Midnight in Paris, Allen's last hit, but that serves the more serious, critical tone. The class conflicts made me chuckle, as well as Jasmine's hysterical antics and self-aggrandizing, but I was so thoroughly engaged with the characters and stories to complain about a lack of sufficient yuks. Confession: I generally enjoy Allen's dramas more than his straight-up comedies.

Naturally, the movie hinges on Blanchett's performance and the Oscar-winning actress is remarkable. I expect her to be a lock for another Oscar nomination if not the front-runner until later. She fully inhabits the character and lays out every tic, every neurosis, every anxiety, and every glimmer of doubt, of delusion, of humanity. She is a fully developed character given center stage, and it's a sheer pleasure to watch Blanchett give her such life. You'll feel a mixture of emotions with the character, from intrigue, to derision, to perhaps some fraying sense of sympathy, especially as the movie comes to an end. Blanchett balances the different faces of Jasmine with startling ease; she can slip into glamorous hostess to self-pitying victim to naiveté like turning a dial. I never tired of the character and I certainly never tired of watching Blanchett on screen.

Woody Allen has been a hit-or-miss filmmaker for over a decade, and you'll have that when the man has the perseverance to write and direct a movie every freaking year. I had a pet theory that, as of late, every three years was when we really got a great Allen movie: 2005's Match Point, 2008's Vicky Cristina Barcelona, 2011's Midnight in Paris. Well now my theory has been put to rest, thank you very much, all because Allen couldn't wait one more year to deliver Blue Jasmine, a truly great film. It's a tragicomedy of entertainment, an exacting character study of a flawed, complex, deeply deluded woman as her carefully calculated world breaks down. Anchored by Blanchett's supreme performance, the movie glides along with swift acumen, doling out revelations at a steady pace and consistently giving something dishy for the actors and audience to think about. It's funny, it's sad, but more than anything Blue Jasmine is compelling as hell. This is one of Allen's best films and one I'd recommend even to non-fans of the Woodman. Give Blue Jasmine a chance and you may be surprised what you feel, for the film and the woman, both complex, engaging, and memorable.

Nate's Grade: A
Super Reviewer
½ September 10, 2013
"Blue Jasmine" is one of the great films of 2013. It's a character study at once funny and sad, disturbing and tender... covering themes of mental illness, family woes, and class struggles in a precise, stellar little package. Cate Blanchett gives the performance of her career in one of the best ensembles of the year. Even Andrew Dice Clay is terrific! This is one of Woody Allen best and should be considered among his classics. I loved this movie.
Super Reviewer
½ February 5, 2014
A subpar Tennessee Williams-wannabe dramatic comedy. Its most salvageable attribute is Mrs. Blanchett performance.
Super Reviewer
½ January 23, 2014
An entertaining, well written story from the brilliant Woody Allen concerning a woman (Cate Blanchett) with mental issues, who is trying to start over after his husband (Alec Baldwin) is convicted of fraud and she loses her extravagant lifestyle. The interweaving of the past and present is an interesting choice, and it works rather well, even if the past seems to be a one-sided liberal approach on the wealthy being completely out of touch and narcissistic at all times. Blanchett, unsurprisingly, is phenomenal and her character is a memorable one, with the supporting cast (especially Sally Hawkins playing her sister) puts in good work. I think it is a step below "Midnight in Paris" in terms of Allen's recent works, but it is still worth a view.
Super Reviewer
½ January 9, 2014
Woody Allen movies have always been hit and miss for me. For every "Match Point", there is a "To Rome With Love". It's pretty inconsistent, but he does make great movies more consistently than most. "Blue Jasmine" isn't so much a great movie as it's a great performance by one of the best actresses today, Cate Blanchett. She plays Jasmine a socialite who loses everything after her husband(Alec Baldwin) goes to prison for money fraud. She moves from New York to San Francisco to live with her sister(Sally Hawkins) and she is a complete fish out of water who is losing her mind. I honestly thought Sandra Bullock in "Gravity" was the best female performance of 2013, then I saw this, and I gotta say, Blanchett is gonna clean up all the awards. She is funny, crazy, snobby, and heartbreaking all at the same time. Just an amazing performance that is the cherry on top of her fantastic career. The supporting cast in this is just awesome as well, with small, effective roles by Louie C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, and Peter Sarsgaard. I love when Woody Allen movies don't feel like Woody Allen movies and this is one of those. Sits nicely with "Match Point" and "Midnight in Paris", his two best of the last 10 years. In the mood for a good dramady then check this out!
Super Reviewer
January 8, 2014
This is a very odd review for me to write, because this is a very strange film. It has many scenes that you will question why they are even in the film, and even by the end, not much is really finished, and it's very weird and messy at points. The script, written by Woody Allen (who also directs), is a fantastic script, and Cate Blanchett delivers a very solid performance, but I never really connected with anything that was happening. I commend every filmmaking part of it, but it's definitely not a film many people will remember and want to watch over and over again. What this film is to me, is another solid piece for Woody Allen to add to his directing reel, and he should be damn proud of this one too. While it doesn't connect with me, it's still a good movie.
MANUGINO
Super Reviewer
January 8, 2014
Blanche and Stella in Woodyland.

Good Film but expected more! Woody Allen's finely tuned screen-writing skills and his talent for eliciting standout and often award-winning performances from his leading ladies are on full display in "Blue Jasmine." Cate Blanchett gives her best acting performance of all time. Her character changes dramatically every scene. 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. Go see it if you want.

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.
Super Reviewer
½ January 8, 2014
Another Woody Allen film, another "meh" movie watching experience. This movie does have its moments, and Blanchett gives a hell of a performance, but overall it was just another flat Woody Allen movie to me. What others find witty and touching about him, I usually find as dull and uninteresting. If you like his films you'll probably like this one. I just cannot get into his movies.
Super Reviewer
December 16, 2013
Funny, wonderfully acted (especially by Blanchett and Hawkins), Blue Jasmine is a fresh, well-paced, endearing film that has enough dynamics and genuine human emotion to keep the audience entertained from beginning to end without one moment of drabness.
Super Reviewer
November 15, 2013
At the head of a great cast, Cate Blanchett deserves an Oscar for her fantastic performance in this tragic, thought-provoking and sad character study, as she is able to inspire our deepest sympathy as a pitiful woman who we would hardly like to be around in real life.
Super Reviewer
½ November 4, 2013
* * * S P O I L E R S * * *

At times scandalously enjoyable, but fatally narcissistic, unrealistic and why-did-I-watch-this-am-I-masochistic? Few to none of those characters are believably San Franciscan! Nor would people in SF turn their heads on the street to see a woman talking to herself! Ginger and all the supporting characters besides Jasmine were cardboard, the cheap floppy kind, and everyone kept rehashing the same 3 plot bullet-points. Yes, Jasmine didn't care about Ginger, yes she thinks Chili isn't good enough for Ginger, and yes Hal was a cheat. We got that all within the first 20 minutes of the movie so when you riff on that theme for another hour, consider me riddled and bored to death. Weak, weak effort by the dialogue writer. Top 40 pop songs have more variations between their first and second choruses than some of the conversations and sentiments do in this film.

A couple of scenes were decent but really, after disliking blighted Mighty Aphrodite, it's apparent I don't care for Woody Allen.
hunterjt13
Super Reviewer
October 23, 2013
A society woman, ruined by her husband's fraud, lives with her estranged, lower class sister.
Cate Blanchett delivers one of the finest performances of her career. Her character is both annoying and endearing, and Blanchett runs the emotional gamut in her portrayal. Also excellent is Sally Hawkins, whom I have long held a grudge against for Happy Go Lucky, a film memorable only for its awfulness.
The film is worthy of Woody. Woody Allen, a writer and director the like of whom we have not seen since Chaplin, once again produces a wonderful script, poignant in its comedy and its emotional depth. Can you name another director who not only has been working since the late sixties but who has been great since the sixties? He has received an Academy Award nomination is every decade since the seventies. The genius of this script is its unwillingness to demonize anybody. While Jasmine is surely worthy of condemnation, she's right enough times that she's better than a broken clock, which is right only twice a day. It is true that Ginger's choice in Chili is unwise, but it's also true that he loves her enough to make up for his faults. It's true that Jasmine's life of luxury is full of airs and false, but it's also true that Jasmine can work a society room with aplomb. Jasmine is not a bad person, but she's far from good. And it's in this gray area that most of us float.
Overall, Woody's women are Academy darlings, and it would surprise me if Blanchett and Hawkins didn't garner some Oscar buzz.
Markus Emilio Robinson
Super Reviewer
October 9, 2013
With an exceptional ensemble cast, highlighted by performances from Sally Hawkins, Bobby Cannavale, Peter Sarsgaard and Andrew Dice Clay (yeah, that's right, the Diceman himself, who shockingly gives the best supporting performance of the film) it's Blanchett who owns the screen. At this point I must wholeheartedly agree with my peers in saying that she not only delivers an Oscar worthy performance, but also one of the best (if not the best) of her career.

Follow me on Twitter @moviesmarkus
Super Reviewer
October 7, 2013
This was a great movie. I haven't truly liked a Woody Allen movie since Match Point, so I wasn't really expecting a whole lot from this either.
I was very impressed with both the story and cast. This handles mental illness in a very real way and I liked the (strained) relationship between the sisters and how it makes you question taking people at face value.
Really well done movie which I will definitely watch again.
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