Saturday, August 10, 2013

Blue Jasmine

      Woody Allen continues a hot streak with this drama based in San Francisco.  As usual, the film is written and directed by Mr. Allen and he has created still another in a long line of strong roles for women.  

       "Blue Jasmine" is bound to get star Cate Blanchett an Oscar nomination. She stars as Jasmine, a rich society wife who becomes penniless and is forced to move cross country and live with her sister in very unfamiliar surroundings. The film grows from an idea based loosely on the Bernie Madoff scandal and borrows heavily from "A Streetcar Named Desire" but it's still has the Woody Allen pedigree.

         All the roles in the film have been cast perfectly. Besides a wonderful performance from Ms. Blanchett, Alec Baldwin is terrific as her husband Hal, and Sally Hawkins does great work as her sister, Ginger. The film also features Bobby Cannavale, Peter Sarsgaard, Louis C. K., Michael Stulhbarg and a surprisingly good Andrew Dice Clay. Mr. Allen always seems to bring out the best in his actors and this ensemble is no different. The film, however, belongs to Ms. Blanchett, who moves through so many emotional twists and turns, it's hard to keep up. She is just brilliant.

           As usual, the cinematography is excellent as is the soundtrack. Filming outside of New York for his last few films seems to have rejuvenated Mr. Allen. Familiar yet fresh, the film is dramatic with some light moments. You may prefer a different ending but that will always be debatable. Go for the acting. It's perfection and should get Mr. Allen an Oscar nod as well for direction.

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