Mimicking A Street Car Named Desire, Blue Jasmine is a calculated tragedy that’s saved by an impressive performance by Cate Blanchett.
After everything in her life falls to pieces, including her marriage to wealthy businessman Hal, elegant New York socialite Jasmine moves into her sister Ginger’s modest apartment in San Francisco to try to pull herself back together again. [Sony Pictures Classics]
Cate Blanchett, who played Blanche DuBois in a theater production, revisits the role with Jasmine – a mentally unstable woman who’s too deluded to get her feet back on the ground. Blanchett is a remarkable centerpiece for a film that provides no catharsis.
The rest of the cast are good too despite being stereotyped by their socioeconomic status. The film is about class, relationships, and how people will just let you down, but it all goes back to Jasmine.
She tries to get by on her own way, but its clear that this film is a grim cautionary tale. The movie whirls through flashbacks and subplots; fortunately Blanchett keeps it watchable.
This is a Woody Allen film, so the lack of sympathetic characters is a given, but Blue Jasmine veers on contempt. Any attempt at redemption is temporarily propped up then hacked down. The ending is contrived.
What Allen managed to do though, apart from echoing “how the mighty hath fallen” in every scene, is a social commentary on women whose lives are solely defined by their marriage because they weren’t able to establish their own individuality.
Apart from the quaint cinematography that makes Jasmine’s luxurious lifestyle all the more elegant and Blanchett’s performance, there’s nothing much else to this film, not even characters to root for. The story is too deliberately tragic to make it memorable.
My Rating: 7/10
Alternative Movie Poster by Sam Smith