Monthly Archives: August 2013

Movie Review: Blue Jasmine

by Dan Fields

Cate Blanchett faces tragedy in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine
© 2013 Sony Pictures Classics

I Lost My Mind In San Francisco

Over the years, Woody Allen has shown a certain delight in needling the privileged and the self-important. The comical emptiness of such characters often frustrates and demoralizes his more sympathetic protagonists. Here, Allen pricks the bubble of the effete not with a needle but with a chainsaw. In fact, the director may have given up on humanity for good this time.

Jasmine, née Jeanette (Cate Blanchett) is a career socialite reeling from the imprisonment of her husband (Alec Baldwin) for massive investment fraud and the subsequent dissolution of her existence. Her indignant son (Alden Ehrenreich, Beautiful Creatures, Stoker) has hit the road and asked not to be contacted further. Having lost her fortune, her jewels, her furs and her various homes to “the government” – a term she hurls like acid from a vial – Jasmine has no choice but to drift from New York to San Francisco, where her adopted sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) has agreed to take her in temporarily, until she “finds her feet.”

Unfortunately, the wherewithal to find her feet in any practical sense is not among Jasmine’s skills. Her sole area of expertise is hosting lavish dinner parties, and her educational credentials are limited to a charming anecdote about leaving college to marry into opulence. As she sets out to obtain dubious online certification for interior design, a series of reality checks begins lining up on the horizon. Continue reading