Monday, August 26, 2013

Movie Review: "Blue Jasmine"

In a movie summer filled with post-apocalyptic tales of planet earth, sieges upon the White House, and comic book super heroes, it has been a pleasure to view in recent days two movies for adults (as opposed the "adult movies", which are completely different things).  Last week it was "Lee Daniels' The Butler", which I noted in the paper this morning led all movies in box office receipts for the second week in a row, and this past weekend was the new Woody Allen movie, "Blue Jasmine".

"Blue Jasmine" revolves around the life of Jasmine, a woman who has recently fallen from the top of the financial and social world because her husband, has been sent to jail for shady financial dealings (think Bernie Madoff).  Stripped of her wealth and social standing, Jasmine moves across the country to San Francisco to live with her sister, Ginger.  Ginger is divorced with two children who lives a day to day, paycheck to paycheck existence, thanks in large part to the shady dealings of Jasmine's husband.  How Jasmine "adapts" to her new life is what the movie is all about.

This is a drama from Woody Allen, not a comedy, although there are some laughs in it.  I predict a surefire Best Actress nomination for Cate Blanchett as Jasmine, and she really is terrific in the role.  Sally Hawkins, who plays Ginger, should also receive consideration for Best Supporting Actress as well. Alec Baldwin plays Jasmine's husband and is quite good.  And remember Andrew Dice Clay, the foul mouthed comedian who had fifteen or twenty minutes of fame in the early nineties?  Well, he is in this movie as well, playing Ginger's ex-husband and is surprisingly - to me, anyway - good in the role.  He is particularly effective in a scene he has with Jasmine towards the end of the movie.  

As is often the case in his more recent movies, Allen does not appear in "Blue Jasmine" nor is there a "Woody Allen character" in this one, but as a screenwriter and a director, the 77 year old Woodman has lost nothing off of his fastball.  I hope that Oscar consideration is given him for this movie, even though everyone knows he will not show up on Awards night.

The Post-Gazette gave this four stars in it's review, and I do not disagree.  Very good movie.

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