January 9, 2014

Blue Jasmine

Woody Allen, 2013
Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) is a struggling woman, trying to put the pieces together after her husband is imprisoned for insider trading. She moves to San francisco to stay with her adopted sister. When she arrives she is hit with a bit of culture shock and struggles to adapt to a less affluent life. 

Woody Allen's nod to Elia Kazan's A Streetcar Named Desire is also Woody channeling that very familiar, welcomed neurotic stream of consciousness. Much of the neuroses is placed upon Jasmine's character in the film, who almost makes you think that Blanchett must of been institutionalized after completion. Blanchett does what she does, and just perfectly hits the mark as the unfiltered and unstable Jasmine. Jasmine's turbulent saga is craft-fully displayed through flashbacks of her old life when her husband was still reaping the benefits of his white collar crimes while she went along for the ride, and jumps back to present day when she is forced to come back to earth. And Earth is a scary place for Jasmine. Hardly anybody lives up to her incredibly high standards, her old friends have left her, and she is out of money but rich with embarrassment and humiliation. And she is ready to spiral out of control at a moment's notice, really hanging on by a thread. Self medicates by throwing back a Xanax, chasing it down with some Stoli. All-while somehow maintaining that nasal, condescending tone with that stubbornly pompous persona. She figures if can just land quickly into a West Coast version of her old life, she will stabilize without doing any of the real work on herself. And that work is long overdue. While Blanchett's performance clearly stands out, there is certainly a lot of help. Andrew Dice Clay, Louis C.K. step out of the stand-up comedy realm and impress. Sally Hawkins, who looks like she could be a sister of Marisa Tomei, is impressive as Jasmine's less fortunate sister Ginger who lives a much more modest life but doesn't hesitate to provide shelter for Jasmine. It's a story of riches to rags. Fish out of water. Humbling new beginnings. The haves and have nots but the haves dont have for long. The deterioration of one's facade. The film is littered with a cast that borders on caricatures, which works here. And while the story itself may feel forced at times, Allen constructs it well with a skillful delivery.

No comments:

Post a Comment