BLUE JASMINE has the one of the world’s best actresses, the divine Cate Blanchett, giving her all and then some as a skills-shy socialite on the edge of sanity after her marriage falls apart and reveals an empty existence behind all the catered parties and art gallery sniping.
She deservedly won her first Best Actress Oscar, scorching her way through another of Woody Allen’s long line of keenly written & directed neurotic ladies, and thanks to the faultless actress, one of the sharpest cut. Allen’s creation verges on cruelty—this Jasmine doesn’t charm like some of her predecessors— with some suggestion Allen based Blanchett’s character less on Blanche DuBois (he obviously borrows from Williams & ‘Streetcar’ ) and more on his ex, Mia Farrow. Would he?
If there’s a fault (unless maybe you’ve have more than enough 1% anxiety from the ‘troubled’ auteur over forty+ years) it’s in the lead characters narcissism and constant, wearing testiness and in Allen’s lack of acumen regarding the ‘ordinary real people’ the down-scaled Jasmine has to wade into: his script doesn’t fare nearly as well with middle-class blue-collar portraits. The cast work hard to compensate and they’re all fine: Sally Hawkins, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard, Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay (!), and Bobby Cannavale.
98 minutes of wit and pain, pulling in $97,500,000 off a trim layout of $18,000,000. Hawkins (love her) was nominated at the Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress and the Screenplay was up as well.