Autumn 2013 Features series
Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 4:00pm
Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 7:00pm
Directed by Woody Allen
Screenplay by Woody Allen
Starring Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, and Sally Hawkins
Rated NR ·
After recent excursions to Paris (Midnight in Paris) and Rome (To Rome with Love), Woody
Allen returns to American shores with his latest film, Blue Jasmine. Featuring a wonderful ensemble cast that includes Cate Blanchett (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Hanna), Alec Baldwin (To Rome with Love, Rock of Ages), Sally Hawkins (Jane Eyre, Made in Dagenham), and Peter Sarsgaard (AMC’s The Killing, An Education), the film follows a high-society New York housewife who is forced to deal with the economic and emotional consequences of her husband’s crooked financial dealings.
Jasmine (Blanchett) is used to a life of wealth and privilege, but when her husband Hal (Baldwin) is jailed for a Madoff-like Ponzi scheme, she loses everything and is forced to move in with her blue-collar sister Ginger (Hawkins) in San Francisco. As she struggles to build a new life for herself without her husband’s illicitly obtained wealth, she must learn to accept her new reality and face up to the past.
In terms of Allen’s body of work, Blue Jasmine is more Crimes and Misdemeanors than Midnight in Paris, combining the writer-director’s characteristic humour and ongoing fascination with love, desire, and fate with a timely and resonant examination of contemporary morality. Propelled by an extraordinary performance from Blanchett, and featuring surprising turns by comedians Louis C.K. and Andrew Dice Clay, Blue Jasmine is a thoughtful and heartrending examination of what it means to lose everything.
“It’s real Streetcar Named Desire territory as the fights pile up, and if you think that doesn’t sound entertaining, know that it is, in a hypnotically catastrophic way. Blanchett’s eyes begin to burn with panic (she’s never been this agonizing, channeling the ragged edge of Gena Rowlands) as she lashes out at all the “losers,” and Allen’s material pushes everyone to make terrible choices. The essence of Blue Jasmine feels timely, even years into America’s limp rebound from recession: How do we start over, when guilt can’t be fully processed and sacrifice is demeaned? Boldly, this isn’t a drama that eases into forgiveness or comeuppance; instead, everyone is taken down a peg.” (Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York)
“Blue Jasmine belongs to Blanchett, who appears in almost every scene and frees it from the limitations of Allen’s style, pushing it to far sharper results than any of the more traditional movies, good and bad, that he’s churned out in the past dozen or so years.” (Eric Kohn, Indiewire)