Cate Blanchett is a talented actress and is well known for her numerous roles over the last two decades. Among the many performances that have been my favorite are The Aviator, as Catharine Hepburn, Babel and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. After viewing her interpretation of the character Jasmine in Blue Jasmine, the new Woody Allen feature he has written and directed, this Academy Award winning actress should certainly be considered for an award for her performance.
Allen’s script is excellent and he has the great cast to bring his story to life about a wealthy socialite (Blanchett) who no longer lives a very cushy life in New York after her marriage to Hal (Alec Baldwin) disolves. Some film fans may avoid viewing the film if they stop reading at this point, thinking this is all there is to the film’s story line. I am avoiding adding any spoilers to the review, as Allen has written a screenplay about divorce, an everyday event from our society, into an emotion packed drama that makes us care about the character despite the riches that surround her.
With so many people struggling to make ends meet during these difficult economic times for many, it is easy to be turned off about rich people’s woes.
But Jasmine’s struggles are not limited to the rich. Jasmine has not had to work while married, thus when she no longer has her husband’s wealth, she has to fend for herself with few marketable work skills. This can happen to many women in different cultures who are supported by their husbands and at times, when they are not allowed to work outside the home, even when there is not the same level of wealth that Jasmine and Hal have. Economically challenged women who also have limited to no work skills and can face similar challenges. This can lead to having no home, as Jasmine discovers, and they find themselves turning to families that may not be ready to step up to help out. The lack of support from family or friends may be compounded when there is stress that leads to a mental condition, use of pharmaceuticals and other substances to numb the pain.
Of course, it is worse if the person, like Jasmine, has not been kind or pleasant to others.
Among the other cast members that make this an excellent film are Louis C.K, Bobby Cannavale, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard and Michael Stuhlbarg. Hawkins is great as Jasmine’s sister, Ginger, and Cannavale is her boyfriend, Chili. Some of their scenes are great and add a level of levity to keep this film from being a total emotional bummer.
If raunchy comedy or action packed/sci-fi films are not your favorite, then Blue Jasmine it absolutely the choice film to escape the 3-digit heat in Texas.
Source: Sony Classics