Blue Jasmine

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As a big Allen fan, I already saw the trailer the other day and I'm very thrilled to see this. I don't know what to really expect from it yet. I'm guessing something in the genre of Another Woman, but with a little more (dark) comedy.



The critics love it so far. It's 79% on rotten tomatoes at this point and 77/100 on metacritic, which is excellent. It looks like Woody made another winner! Cate's performance is also praised by practically everyone so far. She's probably the first actress of 2013 to be called 'oscar material' by the critics.

I'm really looking forward to this!

EDIT: The score is only getting better. It's 83% at this moment.
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Just saw Blue Jasmine. Overall, it's one of my recent favorites of his.

Seems to be a lot of creaming over Cate Blanchett's performance, and for the most part it was pretty mesmerizing, but it struck me a little forced here and there. I always get the sense that Allen molds the actors' performance somewhat into a caricature.

Nonetheless, very enjoyable. Love the casting of Andrew Dice Clay, who played his part perfectly. And Bobby Cannavale, with a touch of clown sadness was brilliant.

The theme is of image, greed, pretense and lying. People behaving badly. Interesting that the 3 most vibrant characters in the film are the ones exhibiting the best behavior.

And Allen, the master of the one liners, has perfected his art of throwing 1 amazing line in the movie that stays with you and so perfectly represents his theme.

This one is not without flaws, but it stands out for sure.

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Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
It certainly shares more than a little with A Streetcar Named Desire although that's been acknowledged.
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I have mixed thoughts on this film. Whilst it certainly has a number of good performances with two great ones from Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins, I felt that as a whole it left a lot to be desired. Although not a particularly long movie, it was boring in parts and the characters began to become repetitive as Woody tries force home a number of different points he tries to make about human nature. It's a very dark, depressing movie at times, and the main character is not very likeable at all. Whilst its an interesting character study and a brutally honest look at the negative side of human nature - greed, lying, revenge, it didn't have enough dramatic power to have any type of emotional effect, a movie that seemed to have one point (character) that is displayed constantly for one a half hours.
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I have mixed thoughts on this film. Whilst it certainly has a number of good performances with two great ones from Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins, I felt that as a whole it left a lot to be desired. Although not a particularly long movie, it was boring in parts and the characters began to become repetitive as Woody tries force home a number of different points he tries to make about human nature. It's a very dark, depressing movie at times, and the main character is not very likeable at all. Whilst its an interesting character study and a brutally honest look at the negative side of human nature - greed, lying, revenge, it didn't have enough dramatic power to have any type of emotional effect, a movie that seemed to have one point (character) that is displayed constantly for one a half hours.
I pretty much agree. It's not one of his better films, in my opinion, but Blanchett is great! Watch his '70s, '80s and '90 classics if you realy want a good taste of Woody at its best.



I pretty much agree. It's not one of his better films, in my opinion, but Blanchett is great! Watch his '70s, '80s and '90 classics if you realy want a good taste of Woody at its best.
Yeh, Blanchett is great, Sally Hawkins does a great job and I enjoyed Cannavale and Stormare, being a Boardwalk Empire fan.

I kind of see it as an opposite to Midnight in Paris, the other film I have seen from Allen. In that film I sympathised with Wilson's character, he was a nice guy and those around him were not very pleasant or respectful towards him, the film was uplifting, about enjoying life, exploring etc. where as this film is more dark and depressing about a character who is unpleasant and not very respectful to those around her, and instead of the character evolving as the film goes on, Blanchett very much remains the same unpleasant person, although I understand that's the point.

And yeh, I will definitely check out older Woody eventually, just so many movies and not enough time!



I can't really argue with that Daniel, but I definitely really liked Blue Jasmine, mostly as a character study and a really effective look into the mind of the sort of person Jasmine is. With Woody making a film a year you really have to be willing to just go with where he wants to take you because they almost always seem to reflect his outlook on the world at that particular time. It results in wildly upbeat, romantic or optimistic movies like Hannah and Her Sisters or Midnight in Paris that can easily be followed by incredibly dark or pessimistic films like Deconstructing Harry or Stardust Memories.



That sounds similar to how you described Inside Llewyn Davis, or at least how I took what you said.
I thought that as I was writing that and they are similar in how they both deal with unsympathetic characters. However there are a lot of differences which result in why I liked one more than another, first of all I just enjoyed Inside Llewyn Davis a lot more, didn't find it boring or annoying at any point really.

I think Cate Blanchett and Oscar Isaac's characters are very different. Isaac's is a lot more likeable even if he is still quite unlikeable, if that makes sense. Inside Llewyn Davis feels much more like a journey than Blue Jasmine, which is more just an extended scene of how horrible Jasmine is, for me. It's an enjoyable journey where the character is explained and developed, and the film is more of a complete circle for me, especially with the beginning and end scenes. Basically the Coen Brothers' film didn't feel like it was created to give us a character as unpleasant as possible, but instead to capture something much greater.

In Inside Llewyn Davis the world in which he inhabits was far more fascinating and enjoyable, its more like a poem than just a character study, beautiful music, cinematography - I just found it more 'enchanting' if you like, it's something that you feel, rather than Blue Jasmine which felt like a cold piece of work.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
That's interesting because I think Jasmine is mentally ill, while Llewyn is an a$$hole. It's kinda like Jasmine is Blanche while Llewyn is a Stanley with delusions of grandeur.



That's interesting because I think Jasmine is mentally ill, while Llewyn is an a$$hole. It's kinda like Jasmine is Blanche while Llewyn is a Stanley with delusions of grandeur.
Yeh I think Jasmine is mentally ill, but also an a*shole like we saw in the flashback scenes how she and her husband acted towards her sister and her partner, although I guess its understandable considering how she abandoned her education and went to live with a rich guy at such a young age, she was just happy to accept what was given to her, and never really had a true grasp of reality.



Yeah, Jasmine definitely had severe psychological problems, but that doesn't necessarily make her more sympathetic, in my opinion.

Anyway, what I was really looking for is what message Woody was trying to send with this film. He portrays Jasmine as some kind of lost cause, because she is torn out of her 'save' and rich environment and isn't able to recuperate her own persona again. Because she cares so much about everything (she's definitely a perfectionist) and because she can't look at the world (and herself) into perspective, she eventually goes mad after all the things that happen to her.

I don't know if Woody was trying to mock the general social attitude of America's higher class or if he was trying to show us how people are actually not truly in control of themselves and that's it very easy to fall apart in this cruel world or maybe even something else, but in the end the story didn't completely connect with me like some of his other work.

It's still worth a watch of course, as the dialogue is great and because Woody really knows how to showcase the fragility of human beings, but I wouldn't rank it among his best (as for now). I think I liked Another Woman and Alice, two other Woody films that also feature troubled wealthy housewives/women in the main role, a little bit better, as they were more creatively inspired and atmospheric, in my opinion. Blue Jasmine often felt kind of dry (except a few scenes).

Let's say that I liked the film overall, but that I certainly didn't love it. Personal taste, I guess.
The performances were pretty much flawless, though.



Have you guys seen A Streetcar Named Desire?
Yes, I have. I know Jasmine is very much resembling Blanche, but I though the drama worked better in A Streetcar Named Desire, personally.

Blanche seems more helpless and truly "earns" my pity, while Jasmine's pretense is just plain off-putting.
Blanche wants to be loved by people and therefore lies and does peculiar things, while Jasmine seems only interested in wealth and reputation. I had the feeling that she wasn't truly having any feelings for her husband or for her friends, but that she only cared about the lifestyle. She didn't really care for anything more than that and when her shallow life is suddenly disrupted, she still only focuses on the same superficial crap.
Blanche truly struck me as a victim, while Jasmine just seemed to have a bad and uninteresting core even without her bad luck. She's very unlikable, all the way through the movie, while Blanche only has a few despicable characteristics that are the result of her mental issues and her past.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
The most important thing they share is incredible insecurity. I'm not making "Jasmine" out to be likable but she can't be honest with anyone, especially herself.



I remember when this was doing the rounds that Blanchett thought that Allen had wanted her as Jasmine because she'd just played, a well reviewed, Blanche in a production of Streetcar.
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The most important thing they share is incredible insecurity. I'm not making "Jasmine" out to be likable but she can't be honest with anyone, especially herself.
Yeah, that's obviously true. She needs a safety net to hold back that insecurity or she totally collapses.

That's a very interesting insight actually, Mark. I guess I didn't focus enough on that aspect yet. She doesn't even care if that safety net is founded on immoral behavior (in this case her husband's practices) or lies from her side, but once it gets pulled from underneath her, the mask falls off and she outs her terrible form of insecurity by having panic attacks, belittling other people (even if only in her own mind) and telling lies to look better, but also by purifying herself from the sins she had to commit or look away from to secure her former safety net.

Again I feel the tragedy works better in A Streetcar Named Desire, though, because Blanche's insecurity ultimately gets exposed so badly and she gets humiliated in such a cruel way, while she can't do anything about it, that we can't help but be involved with the story.

In Blue Jasmine there is also the moment of 'exposition' near the end and there is also the moment of humiliation, but I thought those two moments weren't as tragic as in Streetcar.
Both the moment of exposition and humiliation were actually just softened and less well executed versions of what happens in Tennessee William's tale.

You're right in the sense that we can't blame Woody for not making his characters consistent though, as all of Jasmine's actions are actually reducible to her main flaws.