Movie Review: ‘Blue Jasmine’

Movie Review: ‘Blue Jasmine’

Movie Review: ‘Blue Jasmine’
August 09
15:30 2013

Cole Clay / Intern

Rating: 4/5

Some critics might say that storied filmmaker Woody Allen’s career has been staggering since the turn of the century, with  films that have been moderately received like last summer’s “To Rome With Love” or 2009’s “Whatever Works”. Allen likes to try new techniques and is not the type of filmmaker to trap himself in a box. It’s his diversity and perspective on life that has cemented him in filmmaking history.

He is sticking to his one film per year tradition and this year he is releasing “Blue Jasmine”,  a modern day retelling of the classic Tennessee Williams play “A Street Car Named Desire.” The film blends the two types of films Allen is known for, introspective comedies and existential dramas. “Blue Jasmine” doesn’t take on the identity of either genre and that’s why it as one of Allen’s most well rounded films since 2005’s “Match Point.”

Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) is an upper class woman who is on the verge of a nervous breakdown as a result of her wealthy husband Hal’s (Alec Baldwin) ongoing philandering. Jasmine has grown too accustomed to what she calls a “certain lifestyle”, so going to live with her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) and two kids in a middle-class apartment isn’t Jasmine’s idea of coping. The story basically follows Jasmine as she navigates her way through life after love.

It is no wonder that Blanchett’s portrayal of the self-absorbed Jasmine is already getting Oscar buzz. She seamlessly goes through a jaw-dropping range of emotions that one can only hope to see when taking a trip to the movies.

Even if Allen doesn’t star in his films there is usually a character he writes to be his  voice in the film, but not in this case. He instead opts for more well-rounded characters that each serve their own purpose in the movie. Allen gives the audience a voice in the film, in Chili (Bobby Cannavale), Ginger’s boyfriend. Chili heckles Jasmine for her poor attitude and the condescending way she speaks to people. This standout performance is one of the more special supporting characters Allen has written.

There are other notable performances in the ensemble cast including comic Louis C.K., who handles Allen’s stiff dialogue very well despite not playing into his cynical persona, and the versatile Peter Sarsgaard plays one of Jasmine’s very suave suitors.

“Blue Jasmine” walks a fine line at not being particularly funny or too dramatic and is without a doubt one of Allen’s freshest films. Movies like this are the reason why we keep coming back to see what Allen has up his sleeve. So, book your ticket to this one as fast as you possibly can.

“Blue Jasmine” opens up at the Landmark Magnolia in Dallas on Friday.

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