Blue Jasmine (2013), Woody Allen’s most recent film, tells the story of Jasmine French (Cate Blanchett) – a troubled woman whose privileged lifestyle has recently changed drastically. Finding herself destitute and moving in with her sister, Jasmine wants to get back to her old status as soon as possible, with some mishaps along the way.
I loved this film, so this review-slash-recommendation will be really quick. I don’t have anything to nitpick. Everything was impressive. The script was witty and clever, as I’ve come to expect from anything Woody Allen is attached to. The acting was perfect, and if Cate Blanchett doesn’t get the Oscar for her role, I will be very unhappy. Sally Hawkins is also amazing as Jasmine’s less sophisticated sister Ginger. Even though the ‘best supporting actress’ race is pretty tight at the Oscars this year, she does give an Oscar-worthy performance. The supporting cast is also universally great, and I particularly loved the performances by Andrew Dice Clay and Bobby Cannavale. The cinematography was amazing, as I also expect from Woody Allen’s films.
Actually, the only thing I can say was lacking about this film was that the music during the party scenes was fairly dated and sounded a bit 90s-ish. That’s it.
My favourite thing about this film was how it so deftly moved between Jasmine being a source of humour, and Jasmine being a source of sadness or social commentary. At one moment, we’re laughing because Jasmine can’t stand her sister’s home decor. At the next moment, we watch sadly as she ponders the opulence of her past and confronts her mental health issues. The film unflinchingly portrays what it’s like to suffer from mental health issues in a very natural way, even though what Jasmine experiences isn’t described as anything other than a ‘nervous breakdown’. As Jasmine says, “There’s only so many traumas that a person can withstand until they take to the streets and start screaming.” This isn’t done in a way that toys with your emotions. It’s done in a way that flows well and doesn’t impede the movement of the story.
I’ve always found that there’s something intangibly special about seeing a Woody Allen film in the cinema. Even if it’s not that great, like To Rome With Love (2012), or Whatever Works (2009). I didn’t mind watching those because I’m weird and just appreciated the experience of seeing a Woody Allen film physically at the cinema. Blue Jasmine is a cinema experience that will not let you down. I’m actually not sure if this one is still in cinemas around the world, but it’s definitely still out in Australia. I’d recommend everyone to go and see it when they get the chance. It is absolutely worth paying for a ticket.
Is it worth paying for a ticket?: YES! (If it’s not in cinemas anymore where you are, it’s also well worth the iTunes/video rental/Netflix/whatever else.)
Watch the trailer here.
Watch this film at Amazon!