Blue Jasmine Movie Review: Woody Allen delivers a derivative

I am very excited for the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday, March 2nd!  I have seen most of the nominated movies already but I want to focus on Blue Jasmine today.  Typically, I have not been a huge fan of Woody Allen films.  However, Blue Jasmine is really very good.  In fact, it is so good, I would not have guessed it was a Woody Allen film, if I had not seen a promo for it.  Sorry, Woody.  Blue Jasmine is your best work aside from Midnight in Paris!

I believe Cate Blanchett should win and will win the Best Leading Actress award for her performance in Blue Jasmine.  This is not the first time Cate Blanchett has taken on the role of a sad, unstable, crazy person.  She gave a comparable performance along side Dame Judi Dench in Notes On A Scandal which still makes me cringe each time I catch it on cable.  I recommend you watch and compare both films, in order to truly appreciate Ms. Blanchett’s firm grasp on some particular types of crazies.

In Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen appears to have cross-referenced elements of A Streetcar Named Desire with the Bernie Madoff story.  Cate Blanchett’s character, Jasmine, is reminiscent of Bernie Madoff’s wife as well as the fictional Blanche DuBois character from A Streetcar Named Desire.  Strikingly, the real Mrs. Madoff and the fictional characters of Blanche DuBois and Jasmine all suffered a fall from high society while trying, unsuccessfully, to hold onto any grace they may have once possessed. 

Bobby Cannavale portrays Chili, the rough-around-the-edges boyfriend of Jasmine’s sister, Ginger, who is portrayed by Sally Hawkins.  Chili appears on screen mostly in a “wife-beater” t-shirt, a sort of Stanley Kawolski.  Alec Baldwin is cast as Hal, Jasmine’s white-collar criminal husband, a clear reference to Bernie Madoff. 

Although, Blue Jasmine, is a deliberately derivative nod to the Madoff’s and A Streetcar Named Desire, it delivers!.  Check it out in theaters, on cable or on DVD.








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