Director: Woody Allen
Synopsis: Cate Blanchett plays a New York socialite hanging onto any semblance of her previous life after she finds her husband wanted by the FBI for fraud. Penniless she is forced to lean on her sister and begins to create a life for herself while still fantasizing about the life she left. In a cramped San Francisco apartment Jasmine self-medicates with Stolli martinis and Xanax while visibly falling apart at the seams. Soon she convinces her sister Ginger, that her life is not up to par and convinces Ginger to accompany her to a posh party with the opportunity of them both meeting a wealthy mate. Ginger becomes smitten with this new found world which is quickly whisked away when she finds out her new suitor is married. Jasmine still intent on getting back to the life she had clings to her own illusions while trying to attain it. Like many Allen movies, the main character aides in their own tragedy as we see them circle around to a similar starting point, not always being one the wiser.
Review: Blue Jasmine is a superbly cast Woody Allen movie with the great fortune of not having cast Woody Allen. Like many of his characters, Jasmine is self-indulged on her thoughts of life and the world around her. Often self-describing her characteristics and name dropping both people she knows and places she’s travelled it is clear Jasmine’s identity is wrapped in a world of smoke and mirrors. Much like Allen’s Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona, the background of Blue Jasmine is another cast mate, reflecting the mood of its characters. In her sister Ginger’s apartment, Jasmine bounces between emotions and thoughts like the clutter and confinement. In a pursuit of an online degree Jasmine takes a receptionist position in a dentist’s office surrounded by indecisive patients and ringing phones reflective of Jasmine’s uncertainty in her future path and anxiety. It is only in the presence of the wealthy guests at a posh party in an elaborate home and the meeting of a handsome suitor that we see Jasmine’s poise and calm. All in all, Blue Jasmine is one of Woody Allen’s better movies. It is impossible to take your eyes off Cate Blanchett and her performance as a socialite on the brink of sanity is worthy of an award. Much is to be learned and reflected upon after the films conclusion. Rich with scenery, a thought provoking storyline, and superb cast, Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine doesn’t disappoint.