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[Review] – ‘Blue Jasmine’


Release Date: 27th September 2013
Director: Woody Allen
Writer: Woody Allen
Cast: Cate Blancett - Alec Baldwin - Peter Sarsgaard - Sally Hawkins - Andrew Dice Clay - Booby Cannavale - Louis C.K - Michael Stuhlberg - Max Casella



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Posted February 13, 2014 by

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Woody Allen’s latest Feature, Blue Jasmine is funny, sad and as awkward as ever. Woody has been known for his exploration of relationships and succeeding at making audiences squirm whilst watching his pieces and Blue Jasmine is no exception. With the iconic Jazz soundtrack playing in the background, meet Jasmine French (Cate Blancett). A former New York socialite that finds herself completely broke and with no one to turn to other than her estranged sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins) in San Francisco. As Jasmine struggles to settle in to her sister’s hectic lifestyle, she is continuously haunted by the memories of her privileged past, torturing herself with the realities she trustingly ignored. She looks a million but certainly doesn’t feel it. Panic attacks and throws of snobbery over take her as she is forced into a life she clearly doesn’t think she deserves.

This unsuspected heavyweight film addresses first world anxieties about identity and self-worth. Jasmine thinks that her world is over and that having no money is the end. The worst thing about her character is that she looks down on Ginger and her lifestyle, including her choice of partners. She is not someone you would want to have lunch with and would certainly not want her to be related to you – but she’s family and family comes first. At least it does for the full hearted Ginger, who provides a roof over head in her time of need.

Allen’s confident simple shooting style consisting of wide shoots and various close-ups works seamlessly alongside the tragedy of this narrative.  You can’t look away from the screen and witnessing how broken every, single character on screen actually is, is truly fascinating. They all re-invent themselves and try to be something they aren’t or distort their true self slightly, in order to gain attention – everyone is a ‘phony’. Blanchett has received a lot of good press for this role, and is getting nominated for awards left, right and centre and so she should. She carefully flips between the strong, unstoppable woman who wants to take life by the horns and the creature that is fragile and vulnerable suffering from chronic depression. Although the spotlight is on Jasmine, the supporting cast shine through with the delightful comic relief provided by Louis C.K., Michael Stuhlberg and Max Casella and deceptively charming performances from Alec Baldwin, Andrew Dice Clay and Peter Sarsgaard. This also gives Sally Hawkins and Bobby Cannavale a chance; both giving compelling and heartbreaking performances as the passionate couple.

Even though Blue Jasmine doesn’t have so many laughs as Allen’s previous work, it is still a thoroughly enjoyable experience with some laughs here and there.  The films abrupt ending was truly devastating but the points made regarding human interaction are, as usual – ingenious.

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Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 20.05.17

Gloria Daniels-Moss
Freelance Contributor


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