Woody Allen’s newest film is filled with anxiety and quirky characters. Blue Jasmine is the story of a woman, Jasmine (Cate Blanchett), who was married to a wealthy businessman and living the high life in New York. This socialite never wanted for anything. Her husband Hal (Alec Baldwin) gave her anything she wanted and they were on the top of the social ladder. Their life was golden, or maybe I should say platinum. But when the dominoes started falling, Jasmine’s life unraveled and she became a different woman.
Hal’s womanizing was just the start of everything. When Jasmine realized he was having affairs with her friends and even an au pair, even her Xanax wasn’t enough to help her get through.
Hal eventually went to prison and Jasmine went to the funny farm. When she was release, she moved in with her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) in her small and dismal San Francisco apartment with Ginger’s two young sons. Trying to get her live in order, Jasmine decides she needs to do something worthy of her past. She always had a flair for decorating, so she set her sights on being an interior decorator. But in order to get the money for classes, she had to take a “menial” job as a receptionist in a dentist’s office.
As the days and weeks progressed, Jasmine lived solely on Xanax and vodka. Then audiences get more of her back-story and see why this lady who was once living the high life is now basically in the gutter.
Could an award nomination be in store for Cate Blanchett? Possibly. Her performance is worthy of consideration. Blanchett says of her character, “Because Jasmine is such an unreliable narrator, the flashbacks are there to find out what’s truly going on underneath the surface.” The movie is done with flashbacks throughout, going back and forth from Jasmine’s old life in New York to her new life in San Francisco. “In a way I wish we’d shot the New York stuff first before we’d gone to San Francisco because it was in doing that that I sort of fully understood her character.”
The flashbacks provide glimpses into her old life but I’m with Blanchett on this one. I would like to have seen the film run from New York to San Francisco instead of see Jasmine’s story unveil in flashbacks. But that is what writer/director Woody Allen envisioned, so that is what audiences see.
Allen has written 79 films and directed 49. He is a well-respected writer and director and his fans are definitely faithful.
Blue Jasmine is rated PG-13 and hits theaters July 26, 2013.