Blue Jasmine Review

Blue Jasmine

“There’s only so much a person can take before they take to the streets and start screaming.”

In a perfectly neurotic Woody Allen nutshell, that is life; and Cate Blanchett brilliantly delivers this line and many more besides in the iconic director’s new film Blue Jasmine.

Now Jasmine is a well to do lady of both means and class, although both of these qualities appear to have been borrowed.

Having been swept off her feet by her wealthy husband Hal at a party many blue moons ago, Jasmine has been living a life of opulent luxury and privilege off the back of her husband’s business empire.

Of course, Jasmine doesn’t ask questions about how Hal makes his money, she’s far too busy admiring the high ceilings of their many homes, keeping these and herself in fashion as well as organising black tie charity events that the rich seem to think makes amends for all their greed and ill-gotten wealth.

Sure, Jasmine signs whatever Hal puts in front of her from their joint accounts, but what does she really know about business?

Now Jasmine, or more accurately her husband, has lost everything, so she’s flown out to San Francisco where her sister Ginger lives with barely a bean to her name.

Of course, Jasmine’s flown first class – how could you possibly not – but she’s lost everything darling.

So now Ginger, her until very recently not so dearest sister, is putting Jasmine up til she finds her feet again.

Though god knows how long that’ll take though, as this former Manhattan socialite more commonly known as Jeanette isn’t really capable of doing anything.

As Jasmine struggles with her fall from both grace and sanity, we see flashes of her former life and learn just how her life unravelled into such a mess.

Now I’m too young to be a fan of proper Woody Allen films, you know those ones that were actually good.

Hell, I still haven’t got around to watching Annie Hall, though no doubt it’s a classic.

The Woody Allen I know is pretty hit and miss, of such middling cinematic fare as Match Point, To Rome With Love and the incredibly overrated Midnight In Paris.

So I was pleasantly surprised by just how funny Blue Jasmine is.

I guess there are two reasons for this; firstly the excellent script and dialogue he’s come up with for the corporate shark infested waters that the insanely wealthy that everyone who lives in this world conveniently turns a blind eye to.

And then there’s Cate Blanchett, who delivers a riveting performance as Jasmine that will surely see her nominated for an Oscar next year.

Still slightly underrated for being an actual actress rather than, say, a model turned movie star, Blanchett excels as a woman whose entire life has unravelled because of the shifting sands she’s built her world upon.

And who in their right mind couldn’t understand about taking to the streets for a good old scream?

Jonathan Campbell

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Dates ‘n stuff

September 2013