BY ISA MONTAGNESE
Note: This review contains spoilers starting at the half-way point.
Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine stars real life swan princess (and Golden Globe winner) Cate Blanchett as the formerly-wealthy, slowly falling apart Jasmine. Newly- divorced and broke Jasmine travels to stay with her not-so-rich sister, played by the amazing Sally Hawkins. As the movie goes on, it’s made clear that Jasmine is definitely losing it, but still doesn’t deserve much sympathy. She’s been a wealthy dink and has just turned into a fancy-yet-broke dink.
Don’t you love it when Woody Allen makes one of those Woody-Allen-movies-minus-Woody-Allen? I sure do. Though I’m a huge sucker for his nassicistic movies too, these unrecognizable (totally recognizable) Allen movies are great. In the same arena as Match Point but with less rain scenes, this film is all about upper class woes. Allen wrote something pretty amazing for a pretty great group of actors (except Andrew Dice Clay, whyyyy?!).
It’s so nice to see a movie about a messed up character. What I mean is, Jasmine is a pretty effed-up, rich, white lady with a lot of anxiety. She’s completely self-involved and barely learns a thing throughout the movie–it’s glorious. A lot of movies that start this way end with stereotypical lessons about life, but this movie says, “Oh you know that a-hole? She’s still an a-hole basically.” No one could play a character like that and still make me want to sit through the whole thing like Cate Blanchett. Blanchett made me get this character–I’m not rooting for her but I get her. She made me empathize with this woman who at first seems like a caricature of herself. I may be alone in my opinion, but I love messed-up, real life adjacent characters, including Jasmine’s sister Ginger who half clings to her sister’s “success” and half drowns in her own drama (which includes great scenes with Bobby Cannavale). Jasmine drags her sister around while she tries her best to put her life together in a few different ways with no success.
Jasmine is a great tragic character because she’s privileged in every way and yet can’t seem to keep it together. Everyone knows Blanchett is a true movie star but man can she carry a movie. She really blew me away with this one.