Thursday, September 26, 2013

REVIEW: Blue Jasmine

Blue Jasmine

Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins


July 26, 2013 (NY/LA)

Woody Allen

Sony Pictures Classics

1 hour 38 minutes



After hearing the mixed reviews over last year's "To Rome With Love," I was honestly a little worried that the next Woody Allen film I'd see would be the first bad one I saw.  The trailer for "Blue Jasmine" didn't help its cause either, so I wasn't exactly excited for it.  Having finally seen the film, I gotta say that this wasn't the film I thought I was going to be getting upon entering the theater.  Instead of getting, for lack of a better term, "whimsical," Woody Allen comedy/drama, I got a sad, emotional, and complex drama that delves into the psychologically damaged mind of Cate Blanchett's Jasmine, while jumping between her seemingly glamorous past in Brooklyn and her current state of living with her sister in San Francisco.  All in all, "Blue Jasmine" is a great movie, and not what I was expecting of a Woody Allen movie, considering that the only Woody films I've seen prior to this were "Midnight in Paris" and "Annie Hall."

People everywhere have raved about how great Cate Blanchett is in this film, and to get this right off the bat, she really is THAT great.  Jasmine is the type of character whom you want to root for, but at the same time can't stand and feel pity towards her due to her situation in life.  Blanchett gives off a raw and emotional vibe that can best be described if Samantha or Carrie from "Sex and the City" had a mental breakdown on the show and they moved in with their sister in San Francisco.  In fact, the true genius of this character is the fact that you never know when to either love her, hate her, or pity her, plus the fact that it's fairly easy to put someone you love dearly in the place of Blanchett.  If there was only one saving grace to this film, it would be Blanchett's performance.  Luckily, though, everyone else in the film is quite good and very entertaining to watch.

What I think is so great about the entire cast of the film is that every character is flawed and even unlikable at times.  Sally Hawkins plays Jasmine's sister Ginger, who can't seem to find a boyfriend who isn't a "loser" according to Jasmine.  Hawkins is fragile and innocent, which enhances her character and makes her more sympathetic to the audience.  A lot of the other characters, including Alec Baldwin, Louis C.K., and Michael Stuhlberg, are all despicable characters in their own ways, so I won't go into them that much.  I thought that, other than Blanchett, the two that stole the show were Andrew Dice Clay and Bobby Cannavale.  Both men are involved in Hawkins' love life in some way, and both are funny and really engaging in every scene they were in.  Overall everyone was great in the movie, but Cate Blanchett is what made the movie great.

"Blue Jasmine" isn't so much a dramady as it is a character study, and director/writer Woody Allen pulls that off almost flawlessly.  Aside with some of the characters getting a little annoying at times, some of the dialogue having very little effort put into them, and the film feeling slow at times, "Blue Jasmine" is a great movie with a stellar performance from Cate Blanchett.  Woody Allen further proves why he's still around making movies, and that's because he's able to tell great stories with great characters in them.  It might not be as good as "Midnight In Paris," but it is still definitely worth a watch.  Not much else is there to say, other than the film was well acted and well directed.  And since it's still in theaters after 2 months, there must be a reason for that.



Captain Phillips

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Enough Said

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