Director: Woody Allen
Script: Woody Allen
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard, Andrew Dice Clay
Duration: 98 min
After an almost destructive last movie (yes I mean “To Rome with love”), where the script and its characters were tasteless like a dessert with no sugar, Woody Allen leaves behind the wondering around in Europe and goes back to good old inspiring America, specifically to San Francisco.
There he introduces us to the wealthy idle Jasmine, or better to say the ex – wealthy but still idle Jasmine. Jasmine comes back from New York, where she lived as a princess, drenched in luxuries, spoiled by her extremely rich husband, to San Francisco. There she will stay with her sister, Ginger, for as long as it takes her to step up on her feet again. Cocky, arrogant and mainly vain, Jasmine will confront all the mistakes of the past, the tragedies she endured and she will finally have to face herself.
Woody Allen (thankfully) managed to come back with a freshly script and a well structured - but so weak - character, that of Jasmine, after a big long disappointed cinematic run through the last years. Here, he takes his neurotic obsessions and transforms them, through Cate Blanchett’s divinity, into a total collapse of the fake life. Jasmine lived for years without caring for what’s inside people, without paying attention to anything else rather than her own social life and vanity. Now everything she loved in her life have gone so tragically wrong that she needs to accept reality and make amends with the past.
She moves in with her younger sister, who is living a modest life with two kids, trying to be happy and satisfied, even if she picks out the wrong guys – as Jasmine gladly points out. Ginger is the complete opposite of Jasmine, however they give to each other – without realizing it – the moral support they both need, even if Jasmine clashes with everything that doesn’t fit in her socially “perfect” world.
Through the magnificence of Blanchett’s acting, Allen manages to show the downfall of a woman who never managed to confront her problems and preferred to look away. In a fake rich life she had everything she needed, fake friends, temporary luxuries and nothing really deep, nothing really satisfying or truly happy.
Through this decaying format of modern life and the emphasis in the absolute blank in richness, Woody Allen with his known tragicomedy elements, manages to show the true face of today and the ugliness that money really caries. Who needs all the Louis Vuitton if their life is miserable, if the problems are there and you do nothing but keep buying and spending and buying?
The anachronistic storytelling with flashbacks of Jasmine’s previous glamorous life keeps pointing out the fragile nature of the character and how her own inaction has severe consequences in her psychological state. Through tragedy Allen gives comedy and vise versa, showing with his camera, via his unique directing talent, numerous funny and extremely sad situations simultaneously.
The arrogant attitude Jasmine has towards others who she sees as inferiors, as her sister’s boyfriends, is absolutely hilarious. However these are the middle class people who happen to search for the meaning in their lives, even if they don’t own mansions and villas in Cannes, even if their accounts don’t have numerous zeros, even if they happen to live in a poor neighborhood. They have nothing but warmth, love and a constant desire of enjoying life as it is. And Woody Allen seems to know that.
Woody Allen with “Blue Jasmine” is expressing something very specific, trying to show how real life is to all his colleagues, the Hollywood actors, the common people like you and me. So, what do you think, is anyone listening?