Thursday, August 29, 2013

Movie Review: "Blue Jasmine" (2013)

Movie"Blue Jasmine"
Director: Woody Allen
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 48 minutes
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After the arrest of her wealthy husband Hal (Alec Baldwin), Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) is forced to move in with her adopted sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) in California. In addition to needing to get a job and battling severe depression, Jasmine must learn how to take care of herself emotionally and financially without the support of her rich husband and "friends."

Our prediction: Cate Blanchett WILL be nominated for best actress for this movie. She is stellar in this film, and she gives an absolutely outstanding performance as Jasmine. She does really well as a woman who has lost everything and ends up talking to herself out loud for comfort and solace. She's trying to cope with the lies she's told herself and others her entire married life, and then starts a new cycle of lies out in California. She can't escape her lies. She's so embroiled in this fantasy she's built up in her mind that she becomes entirely reliant on other people for support, whether financially or otherwise. Her life with Hal was such a privileged one that when it all crumbles, she is left completely crippled, as she can't work a computer, hasn't worked in years, and is very verbally judgmental of people's social statuses, despite the fact that she is now destitute and better off than she is.

In fact, the entire cast is phenomenal, from main players like Sally Hawkins and Alec Baldwin, to supporting actors Andrew Dice Clay as Augie, Ginger's ex-husband, and Louis CK as Al, Ginger's love interest. Everybody in this film was perfectly cast.

Up until Woody Allen's last 2 movies, we didn't know why we weren't getting the appeal of him and his films. Were we just uneducated peons who don't appreciate art when we see it? Have we lost our marbles? Well, we've figured out what the problem is: it's Woody Allen the actor, not Woody Allen the writer or director. Woody Allen is a  great director and writer, but movies in which he is the star leave us unimpressed. "Midnight in Paris" and "Blue Jasmine" have been our two favorite Woody Allen films, even over the classic "Annie Hall." He's able to take a woman's mental breakdown and turn it into an off-beat comedy and exploration of love, friendship, and self-discovery. We hope to see more films like this from Allen in the not too distant future.

My Rating: 8.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 90%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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