Blue Jasmine

Blue Jasmine, cinemashadow, Lubell
Directed and Written by Woody Allen

Cate Blanchett … Jasmine
Joy Carlin … Woman on Plane
Richard Conti … Woman’s Husband
Glen Caspillo … Cab Driver
Alec Baldwin … Hal
Charlie Tahan … Young Danny
Annie McNamara … Jasmine’s Friend Nora
Sally Hawkins … Ginger
Daniel Jenks … Matthew
Max Rutherford … Johnny
Andrew Dice Clay … Augie

This is going to be the opening film for the 2013 Festival, and what an amazing way to begin.
Woody Allen returns to the US to film after the past 3 films have been shot in Europe, but rather than New York this film centers on a woman to heads to San Francisco following a personal crisis where she reconnects with her sister.

This is a movie that I’m excited to see since Allen is a long-time favorite director, and the film contains Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) and Louis C.K. (Louis)

Lane J Lubell

Update 09/14/2013

As the film opens we are in an airplane watching a woman named Jasmine, dressed in a white Chanel suit, jewelry and personality all screaming wealth, as she talks nonstop to people that do not know her, nor appear interested in her story. After all, she is not engaging them in an actual conversation; but simply expects them to pay rapt attention as she primarily complains. We follow Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) from the plane to bagage-claim then to a cab, which lets her off in front of a rather seedy apartment in San Francisco. By the time Jasmine exits the taxi, wheeling $10,000 worth of louis vuitton luggage Woody Allen has already provided us with a basic understanding of the back-story for Jasmine French as a former New York socialite, whose fall from that world was so complete that she sees no option but to move in with her sister Ginger.

Allen makes it clear that Jasmine not only feels the apartment is not remotely up to her standards but she show no more fondness for her sister than her residence. It becomes clear that Ginger (Sally Hawkins) has always felt envious of her sister, she was the “Pretty one”, the golden-girl, one with a sense of style that helped her land the millionaire husband and the accompanying lifestyle. The story is told is part through flashbacks that reveal her former life and the secrets behind its rise and fall. When you are on top of the world, clearly it’s a long way down, but the film showed us how cut each step of the ladder her rise up allowing no means of slowing her descent.

In one of the flashbacks, we are shown a time when Ginger and her former husband, Augie, (Andrew Dice Clay), had made a rare visit to New York to see her sister.

Jasmine made little secret of her lack of interest in spending time with them; and so her rich husband Hal (Alec Baldwin) sent them off in a limousine to tour the city then paid for a hotel rather than actually spending any time together. The following day at Hal’s country estate Augie proudly told how he had won $200,000 in the lottery and was going to use that money to start his own construction company. It was Jasmine’s idea that Augie invest the total amount in some new, and obvious to the audience, shady business venture. While in New York, Ginger happened upon Hal as he left restaurant and kissed some other woman, confirming that he was cheating on Jasmine.

We later find out that Hal’s business venture results in the loss of all if Augie’s money while Ginger does not blame Jasmine, but Augie sees that as the loss of his only chance to better their
It is in a flashback we find out that Hal committed suicide unable to deal with his life after being sent to prison.
We come to know that Ginger ends up divorced from Augie and became involved with a mechanic with the nick-name of Chili (Bobby Cannavale).

Jasmine shows contempt for her sister’s lover and pushes her to leave him for someone “Better,” a guy named Al, who while not rich, clearly is a financial step or two above what Ginger is accustomed. But in Jasmine’s world, better is solely measured in wealth, and we are shown that Ginger’s judgment was wiser, and her first choice was best.

Jasmine is a character that just as we are convinced there is no way she can ever regain entrance to her prior world of wealth and status, she attends a party where she meets a wealthy aspiring congressman by the name of Dwight (Peter Sarsgaard),

After the romance is destroyed by Augie’s revealing her lies it is evident that all paths of redemption for Jasmine are gone and we watch as she walks out of Gingers apartment, her Chanel suit now rags and she sits alone on a park bench, talking to herself- she is lost with no hope. We are shown a person who has slipped past the point where she will ever find her way back to, not only the privileged live she once knew, but we have little hope that she will regain her sanity. She is woman that is as torn as her formerly pristine white Chanel suit.

Cate Blanchet’s performance is breathtaking as we watch her fall into the dark-hole of insanity. Woody Allen has many gifts but none greater than his ability to write parts for woman. It will be difficult for any actress to top her performance, and odds are she will be the latest woman Woody has directed to an academy award.

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