Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Blue Jasmine

When you've been making films for decades, it can be hard to adapt to the changing film movements. (This is why a number of stars from Hollywood's Golden Age didn't fare too well during the New Hollywood era.) But there are those few names that have been thriving since they stepped foot in Hollywood.

One such name is Woody Allen. He's been making films since the mid-1960s and he shows no signs of slowing down either. His new film Blue Jasmine proves that within its opening moments. Much like the content in Match Point, what's shown in Blue Jasmine feels rather un-Woody Allen. (That's not a bad thing, mind you.) Instead, it feels like a work from Tennessee Williams.

Which is fitting since Blue Jasmine, intentional on Allen's part or not, is very reminiscent of A Streetcar Named Desire. (Also fitting since stars Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin were in productions of Williams' play.) Allen and Blanchett take the famed Woody Allen persona (the neurotic lead) and, rather than have it played for laughs, give the role a much more realistic edge.

As Allen often does with his films (Hannah and Her Sisters and Midnight in Paris in particular), he enlists choice actors for Blue Jasmine. Baldwin, Andrew Dice Clay, Michael Stuhlbarg, Louis C.K. and Peter Sarsgaard make the most of their brief screentime. Sally Hawkins and Bobby Cannavale also add to the A Streetcar Named Desire allusions. But this show belongs to Blanchett, who will (hopefully) get nominated for her work.

Allen has had his fair share of cinematic ups and downs throughout the years, and Blue Jasmine is one of his ups. (A step up from his last film, don't you think?) This may go down as one of Allen's best films and Blanchett's best performances. This is a film that'll be on my Oscar ballot.

My Rating: *****

1 comment:

  1. Oooh, glad to see such a high rating. Allen is a hit and miss for me but I adore Blanchett, so I'll see this just for her.

    – ruth


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