Friday, September 20, 2013

Film Review - Blue Jasmine


Blue Jasmine
Written by: Woody Allen
Directed by: Woody Allen
Gravier Productions

Studies of the anxious are not rare territory for Woody Allen. Blue Jasmine follows Cate Blanchett as Jasmine and her difficulty regaining her substantiality and stability after a separation from her wealthy husband (Alec Baldwin). Jasmine retreats to San Francisco to move in with her semi-estranged sister Ginger who is exquisitely portrayed by Sally Hawkins. Supported by an array of men with questionable intentions Jasmine half heartedly tries to find a new life whilst a sense of entitlement leads her to expect good things to happen with little or no effort.

Family and relationships are at the forefront underlined by Jasmine's fragile mental state. The performances by Hawkins and Blanchett are amplified by the support from the likes of Louis C.K., Bobby Canavale and Peter Sarsgaard. The three aforementioned males are overshadowed though by a punishingly strong performance by Blanchett and an exquisite display by Hawkins. Blanchett brings a strength in her portrayal of weakness that is not only mesmerising but somehow internally changing. I left the cinema feeling a little sadder for Jasmine and in light of her lasting effect on my emotions I had to catch myself before entering the real world again.

Woody Allen is a master of the intricate emotional lives humans can lead and an expert of contorting the 'it's a small world' scenario into a film that screams out the name of Allen's least favourite man, Oscar. The dialogue is sharp and fast and the emotional response so real that you feel as if the setting was your home and the characters were you. The dialogue disappears at the perfect moments and the players on screen lose sight of what to say as you yourself gasp. 

With all of the drama and emotion that the film brings it also doesn't miss a chance to make you laugh and it is a welcome relief from the shock and awe experienced throughout. Sarsgaard plays a bit of a prop, his role may have been over-cast. Allen makes you believe everything will look up just as he forces you to look down.

Blue Jasmine is a minimalist in terms of complication, Allen shows his master level knowledge of the english language and the human condition. Close up forceful shots of Jasmine in full breakdown coupled with hilarious fall-off-your-chair scenes in grocery stores make Blue Jasmine another master work by one of the most decorated writers of all time. Take time out of your week and invest something in Blue Jasmine.

5 stars

2 comments:

  1. Good review Adam. The performances were all great, but the story wasn't one of Woody's strongest. However, I will say that I'm glad that he allowed for his ensemble to do the talking for his story this time.

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