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Blue Jasmine

Updated on February 21, 2014

Blue Jasmine

Director: Woody Allen

Writer: Woody Allen

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard, Joy Carlin, Charlie Tahan, Annie McNamara, Sally Hawkins, Daniel Jenks, Andrew Dice Clay, Max Rutherford, Tammy Blanchard, Kathy Tong, Ted Neustadt, Andrew Long

Synopsis: A New York socialite, deeply troubled and in denial, arrives in San Francisco to impose upon her sister. She looks a million, but isn't bringing money, peace, or love...

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, language and sexual content

Quite possibly one of the saddest movies that I've ever seen....

There's an old saying my mom used to say when I was a child. It's easier for a poor person to adjust to a rich man's lifestyle. However, it's harder for a rich person to adjust to living a poor man's lifestyle. Truer words couldn't be spoken.

"Blue Jasmine" tells the story of a young lady named Jasmine (Cate Blanchett), whom finds herself in the unique position of being poor and broken. Once, she was at the top of the New York social elite. Dining at various fine restaurants, as she never had to work for anything in her life. Her husband, Hal (Alec Baldwin), was highly successful in the real estate business.

In fact, one could say her life was practically perfect. She never had to work a day in her life, and everything was always taken care of by her rich husband. Sure, there'd be the occasional annoyance of putting up with visits from her sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins), whom was poor. Although Ginger loves her sister, it's quite obvious that Jasmine feels she's better than her, and feels the constant need to judge everything about her lifestyle; including her tastes in men.

Unfortunately, all this changes when Jasmine's husband dies, after going to jail for some elaborate real estate scheme. The IRS takes away everything from Jasmine., as she's forced to go out into the world on her own. Her step son wants nothing to do with her, due to some of her actions, so she's forced to wander the streets alone. Mumbling to herself, as she's in self denial about what has transpired.

Ginger offers her a place to stay, and tries to welcome her with open arms. Sadly, Jasmine seems less receptive to the idea of getting any help, as she still feels like she has control over her situation. Although Jasmine has sophisticated tastes, she lacks any kind of common sense. For example, she tries to attend college classes to learn how to use a computer because she wants to take interior decorating classes online. Why can't she simply take interior decorating classes instead of a computer class? Because she claims she wouldn't have time to take one, while working.

Yet, she surprisingly has time to take a computer class while she's working a secretary job at a dentistry office. And to add even more insult to injury, she even tries to marry her way back into wealth by lying to a young suitor that'll gladly save her from her misery.

Throughout the film, Jasmine has various flashbacks about her marriage. And even though we're led to believe her life was perfect before her husband died, we soon find out through these flashbacks that her life may not have been all that perfect after all. Her husband wasn't exactly a saint while they were married, as we're given a glimpse at how Jasmine chooses to be ignorant about things that transpire around her. We also see how she was the last person to ever know that her marriage wasn't that perfect, even though it was plainly obvious to everyone else around her.

As the old saying goes, "Ignorance is bliss." And in the case of Jasmine, we can see she's not a woman that has her feet firmly planted in the realm of reality. Out of all the Woody Allen movies that I've seen, I have to say this is probably one of the more sadder ones out there. Unlike some of his films, this one doesn't feature a protagonist that acts as Woody's avatar.

No, this story is told through the eyes of Jasmine. And even though she can be ignorant and naive, you can't help but feel incredibly sorry for her. Sure, you can make a strong argument that most of her problems are of her own doing, but that only makes her more relatable. After all, how many of us can truly say that we've never made our own fair of mistakes during our life time? And how many of us can say that there have been times where our own pride and ignorance hasn't blinded us from seeing the horrible truth right in front of our eyes?

Although Jasmine may not win any points for being the most likable character in cinematic history, but she's arguably one of the more relatable characters out there. Woody Allen does a fantastic job orchestrating this movie, as the story is well constructed; along with some great direction. I can definitely see why this movie was nominated for a screenplay nod, as Woody Allen definitely deserves it.

As far as Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins go, I'd have to say both of them play their parts rather well. Although I'm not entirely sure if I agree with Sally's nomination for "Best Supporting Actress" at this year's Oscars, but she definitely has her moments in this movie.

As for Cate, I think her nomination was definitely well deserved. If anything, I was surprised at the level of conviction she carried in her performance, as she literally pulled at the viewers' heartstrings in her role. Even when her character was required act like a spoiled brat, Cate still managed to show a certain level of vulnerability that allowed for the viewer to still connect with her on an emotional level. Plus, the small speech around the end, by Andrew Dice Clay, was surprisingly very potent and deep.

Overall, I don't know if I would say this is the best film that I've seen last year, but it's definitely one of the deeper ones from 2013. Definitely worth checking out at a rating of four out of four.

© 2014 Steven Escareno

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    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      4 years ago

      Yeah, the ending was rather sad. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the movie though regardless, and thanks for stopping by.

    • mtkomori profile image

      Takako Komori 

      4 years ago from Yokohama, Japan

      I just saw this movie today and enjoyed it a lot! Quite possibly one of the best films this past year along with "Twelve Years A Slave". Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins give a convincing portrayal of Jasmine and Ginger. The ending caught me by surprise as I was hoping for a happy ending. I guess I did feel sorry for Jasmine for her misfortune and wanted her life to pick up again!

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      4 years ago

      @schoolgirlforreal

      that's cool. this movie isn't one that I would recommend to everyone, so no worries if you don't want to see it. Besides we all have our own unique tastes on various things.

      I think love is a lot more valuable than money as well. Surprisingly though, me and my brother used to joke about that a lot when we were kids. Like have you ever heard of the Michael J. Fox film called, "For Love or Money?"

      Well we would often ask each other that question all the time after we saw that film, and we'd always joke around saying money because it was funny. At least, it was to us seeing as we used to love watching "married with children" that had a heavy emphasis on mean spirited comedy. therefore, a lot of the humor we had with each other was very mean spirited, and a lot of sarcasm as well. However, it was fun though.

      However, me and my brother never meant it when we joked about stuff like that, as even as kids we knew that love was far more valuable than money. And even people that think they can buy love fail to realize that money can't really buy happiness. sadly, most people don't realize that.

      Anyways, i should probably stop as I know I'm rambling now, but thanks for stopping by, as it's always a pleasure seeing you.

      @ralph deeds

      hmmm you do have a great point there about the film, as it does seem to be rather mean spirited for the most part. I personally found it kind of sad to be honest. I mean the ending was probably one of the very few that's ever gotten to me, and that's saying a lot considering I don't normally get emotional while watching movies.

      However, i do agree with you that Cate's performance was truly great in this one. Hell, if she never would've won the oscar earlier this year, then that would've ranked as one of the biggest oscar snubs of all time if you ask me.

      Anyways, thanks for stopping by ralph, as it's always a pleasure seeing you good sir.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      4 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Watching Blanchett disintegrate psychologically was not pleasant, although the fact that she was a basically dishonest, self-delusional, unsympathetic character made it easier. Most of the other characters were not very sympathetic either. Woody much have been in his most cynical mood when he dreamed up this witches brew of a movie.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      4 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      In my opinion, Cate Blanchett's performance ranks among the most memorable performances by great actresses including Meryl Streep. And I would have voted in favor of it for best picture. I thought "12 Years a Slave" was well done, but too heavy on the violence. The wife of the other couple we went with walked out half way through. The outstanding cinematography didn't even get a nomination.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 

      4 years ago

      Interesting movie, but I wouldn't see it, based on what I see cause it's just unpleasant to watch but nice hub. No criticism to you of course, just not the kind of movie I'd enjoy.

      I like the simple life pretty much, I've realized that love is more important than money to me but luckily I've never had lots of money and been forced to have very little although you could say I did have a bit more at the times I worked and all, but not by too much.

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      4 years ago

      Well I hope you enjoy the film as much as i did then whenever you see it, as it's truly one of the best ones from last year. Anyways, thanks for stopping to check out my review.

    • Sarastheboss profile image

      Sara Jean 

      4 years ago from Northern Illinois

      Thanks for your review. I've actually never heard of this film- Now I'm interested in seeing it.

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      4 years ago

      My sentiments exactly. It's almost a shame this film wasn't nominated for "Best Picture" though, as it was definitely one of Woody Allen's best films by far. Anyways, thanks for stopping by.

    • gabrielthomas72 profile image

      gabrielthomas72 

      4 years ago from Shrewsbury, England

      Definitely one of my favourite films of the year. And possibly the best thing I've seen Cate Blanchett in.

      For me, the best acted films are always those ones where you find yourself wanting to know what is going to happen to this character. You start to develop a 'relationship' with them because their performance is so good, so believable. Blue Jasmine was one of those films.

      The film industry will always need blockbusters like Superman etc to bring in the $, but this is the type of film that is able to truly define the ability of a great actor.

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