A film, food, travel & lifestyle blog by Sophie Elizabeth

27 October 2013

Film Review: Blue Jasmine (2013, Woody Allen) ★★★★

 When her seemingly perfect marriage to a cheating, financial crook in ruins and her life on the rocks, clueless Manhattan socialite Jasmine, played by Blanchett, is forced to shack up with her blue-collar adopted sister in San Francisco.

Cate Blanchett  leds an unlikely cast in a powerhouse performance as a sheltered Manhattanite who disembarks into the post-meltdown realities of working-class America, a far cry from her New York high life. Jasmine, formerly known as Janette, has come a long way since her childhood with adopted sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins, you may recognise her from such films as Happy-Go-Lucky and Submarine). 

Having married wealthy business man, Hal (Alec Baldwin), Jasmine has, blindly, gone up in the world. As a lose narrative unravels, it seems that Jasmine is the cause of many of her own problems and Blanchett gives a stunning performance which refuses to let you take sides with her character or even feel the slightest onze of pitty for her.

In true Woody Allen fashion, Jasmine is hopelessly ill-equipped to deal with the realities of working life. However, this film paves a road a new Woody movement as he enters a realm of conventionalism and drama following his extensive career in satire. As a film graduate, I probably shouldn't admit that I've never been a big Woody Allen fan as the canon says I must flock at his feet. But whilst the performances of such an unusual cast and fantastic leading ladies, (and featuring Peter Sarsgaard and Louis CK) are sure to birth rumours for Oscar nominations, I feel that in this case, Woody has certainly taken a swing and a miss following the spectacular Midnight in Paris (earning eighteen nominations and winning an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay back in 2011). Unlike his previous title, the acting is what made the film for me and there is no feeling of awe as the narratives clunks to the end.  

Certainly not Allen’s best film in years but astute, humane and shot through with keen observations on the state of the American working class and mental illness. The film ponders the price of deceit and the pain of rebuilding a life from nothing with a fantastic cast and a whole new direction for Allen as a director, yet it is a poor follow up to the brilliance of Midnight In Paris.Blue Jasmine gets a Sophie star rating of 4 out of 5 purely for the sensational acting which make the film, sadly not for the film itself overall.  So what do you think? Have you seen Blue Jasmine? What's your favour Woody Allen film? As always comments down below!

Until next time film lovers, 



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