Wednesday 2 October 2013

Blue Jasmine

So I said back in August that I thought I’d be a Woody Allen fan, but now I know for sure I am. Blue Jasmine – what an incredible piece of cinema.

It was a coin-toss between this and Diana last night at the movies but, as more and more bad reviews come out for the latter, I feel we made the right choice.

Cate Blanchett plays the title character, Jasmine Francis, a “New York, Park Avenue” gal, who gave up a chance at a career to have a life with the man of her dreams (and of many others’…), Hal (Alec Baldwin). Hal has everything; houses, watches, cars, money – that is, money he’s stolen from other people. When he’s arrested, Jasmine’s world collapses and she is forced to move in with her not so high-flying adopted sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins) in San Fransisco.

Blue Jasmine is a little about love and a lot about life, how you live it, and how you cope when it’s taken away from you. Similarities to Tennessee William’s A Street Car Named Desire have been pointed out by some of the world’s best critics in the world – including my mum ;)

I hear Cate Blancett is up for an Oscar for this role but, to be honest, they might as well save everyone the trouble of getting dressed up and just give her all the awards now. I thought she was great before, but wow. She is exceptional, constantly treading the fine line between chic and psycho. Elizabeth, Galadriel, and now Jasmine Francis. She really can do anything.

As with every movie she’s been in, Sally Hawkins was just so loveable, and the two “sisters” has such a great on-screen connection. I’m sure the role of adopted siblings isn’t that easy to portray, but they do it perfectly.

In fact, everyone was hit with the Woody Allen perfect-casting wand, even the smaller parts. Despite the plot revolving around him, Alec Baldwin only exists in the movie’s flashbacks, but when he’s on, he’s – well, Alec Baldwin! - sophisticated and sly as always, and a little sleazy too.

Woody Allen has this wonderful way of making every character stereotypical and familiar but unique and fascinating all at the same time. You laugh and cry with them, and they stay with you long after the credits have finished rolling. Actually, I’m still thinking about them all this afternoon…

If you see one movie in the next few weeks, make it Blue Jasmine.

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