Blue Jasmine Movie Review
Cate Blanchett delivers another award-worthy performance in the cringe-inducing comedy-drama Blue Jasmine. "Cringe-inducing," by the way, is a good thing. Writer/director Woody Allen paints an uncomfortable portrait of a woman who is both pushed to her limits and painfully unaware of the reality of her situation.
Blanchett plays a snotty socialite named Jasmine who has lost everything after her husband (Alec Baldwin) was put in prison for a Ponzi scheme and her wealth wiped away as a result. Forced to move in with her blue collar sister (Sally Hawkins), she proceeds to destroy the lives of those around her (and her own) simply by being who she is.
Blue Jasmine is one of those rare movies where I knew nothing about it going in. I thought it was going to be a drama, my brother a comedy, and we were both pleasantly surprised to find it to be an intriguing and alluring amalgamation of the two genres.
Jasmine is such a selfish, unaware and psychologically damaged creature that she serves as a ticking time bomb. Every situation she steps into, there's a risk that she will burn everything to the ground, blissfully unaware that she is even capable of doing such a thing. She has the social graces of a honey badger and is a horrible human being, and yet Blanchett brings to the role such depth and character that deep down inside, you can see the possibility of good in her.
The possibility of good. Not good itself.
Blue Jasmine is an intentionally awkward comedy that relies on awkward, painfully sharp dialogue. Not everyone will like it, but those who do will laugh out loud at times, even when you realize just how psychologically troubled the main character truly is.
The film rests largely on Blanchett's shoulders, but Woody Allen shouldn't be overlooked. The movie is superbly written, and if this was an ideal world he should be considered a frontrunner for an Oscar. After all, Blue Jasmine is one of the better movies of 2013.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.