Film review: Blanchett's pain is all gain in Woody Allen's latest Blue Jasmine
(12A) Directed by Woody Allen, starring Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins, 98mins
Friday 27 September 2013
The bi- or triannual pronouncement that some new Woody Allen film or other represents a "return to form" has become a film reviewing cliché. But this one really does.
Much of the credit is due to Cate Blanchett, whose commanding performance as Jasmine, a gruesomely fascinating woman in the midst of a psychological breakdown, is can't-take-your-eyes-off-her good.
But Allen's dialogue is balanced right on the line between painful and funny, and scalpel-sharp – all the better with which to expose each of the layers of self-justification and protective denial with which Jasmine had previously constructed her personality.
She was previously married to a Bernie Madoff-style financier (Alec Baldwin), living the glittering life of a Manhattan socialite. But in the wake of his disgrace and arrest she throws herself upon the mercy of her working-class adoptive sister (Sally Hawkins) in San Francisco, and attempts to adjust to a new life for which she is ill prepared.
A Streetcar Named Desire for the financial crisis era, Blue Jasmine loses just a little of its power as a moral fable because its depiction of working-class American life doesn't wholly ring true. But its condemnation of the culture of denial that allowed such pre-crisis affluence is still loud and clear, and as a character study it is pure gold.
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Eurovision 2015: Graham Norton returns with another cutting commentary - his best lines
- 2 Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
- 3 Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take title from Conchita Wurst
- 4 Mother 'will allow son's circumcision in return for release from prison'
- 5 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland