Review of Woody Allen’s latest movie “Blue Jasmine” Part 1

Review of Woody Allen’s latest movie “Blue Jasmine” Part 1

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopelessmeaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of his own secular view. I salute him for doing that. That is why I have returned to his work over and over and presented my own Christian worldview as an alternative.

My interest in Woody Allen is so great that I have a “Woody Wednesday” on my blog www.thedailyhatch.org every week. Also I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in his film “Midnight in Paris.” (Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway,T.S.Elliot,  Cole Porter,Paul Gauguin,  Luis Bunuel, and Pablo Picasso were just a few of the characters.)

Today we are looking at a review of Woody Allen’s latest movie Blue Jasmine.

Blue Jasmine — Movie Review

Published on Jul 25, 2013

Blue Jasmine directed by Woody Allen and starring Cate Blanchett , Alex Baldwin, and Louis C.K. is reviewed by Ben Mankiewicz (host of Turner Classic Movies), Grae Drake (Senior Editor of Rotten Tomatoes), Alonso Duralde (TheWrap.com and Linoleum Knife podcast) and Christy Lemire (Movie critic).

___________________

_______________________________–

Review: Why Woody Allen’s ‘Blue Jasmine,’ Starring Cate Blanchett, Is His Most Significant Movie In Years

Cate Blanchett in “Blue Jasmine.”

As most audiences know, Woody Allen tends to operate in alternating modes of comedy and drama, rarely allowing the two extremes to intersect. Now in his late seventies, Allen is still most frequently known as a funnyman, so that whenever he shifts modes it throws people off: The dark noir “Match Point” was considered a change of pace for the director even though he had explored similar turf in “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and first went bleak way back in 1978 with “Interiors.” In “Blue Jasmine,” however, Allen has achieved a fusion of two sensibilities that resembles one mode of storytelling but plays like a different one altogether.

Carried by Cate Blanchett in a deservedly hyped powerhouse turn, “Blue Jasmine” features the actress as the spoiled housewife of a wealthy Madoff-like schemer (Alec Baldwin) who commits suicide in prison. Left with nothing, she crashes with her estranged sister in San Francisco (Sally Hawkins) while rambling about potential ways of putting her life back together. Revealed in a series of opening shots chatting aimlessly about her woes to a shocked passenger on her flight to San Francisco, Jasmine sounds like yet another fast-talking avatar for Allen’s voice. Within minutes, she has unleashed rants about her adopted sister and both of their ex-husbands, her lack of trust for doctors and managed to quote Horace Greeley. Walking away from Jasmine, her fellow passenger laments, “she couldn’t stop babbling about her life.”

So it goes with Allen’s infinitely self-conscious creations, but “Blue Jasmine” takes that mold to a more frantic extreme. On the surface, it has all the hallmarks of an Allen comedy: the classic jazz underscoring virtually every scene, the speedy dialogue, and insular references to posh Manhattan lifestyles. However, Allen frames these ingredients with an ironic twist. Jasmine is the sort of character who once inhabited the makings of a cheery Allen comedy about the lifestyles of the rich and famous before her world crashed down. In her past as a trophy wife, which Allen slowly explores in a series of flashbacks running parallel to the contemporary events, Jasmine exists in a bubble of sunny bliss that forms a startling contrast to her current damaged state.

More than anything else, “Blue Jasmine” is driven by Blanchett, the movie’s true auteur.

Watching these two experiences unfold simultaneously leads to one of the more intriguing storytelling devices Allen has used in quite some time. As a colleague pointed out to me, the approach echoes Allen’s lesser “Melinda and Melinda,” where a group of playwrights contemplate the prospects of telling the same story as both comedy and drama. While in that case the gimmick was a distraction, in “Blue Jasmine” the dramatic sensibility criticizes expectations of buoyant wit. Naturally, Allen turns to jazz for a key ingredient that percolates throughout the narrative. Jasmine routinely goes back to the song “Blue Moon,” as it reminds her of her ill-fated courtship. “I used to know the words,” she sighs. “Now they’re a jumble.” One could apply the same description to this tantalizing recalibrating of previous Allen movies into a less predictable whole.

Still, Allen’s increasingly anachronistic dialogue and largely unadventurous style remain a troublesome distraction. More than anything else, “Blue Jasmine” is driven by Blanchett, the movie’s true auteur. “You hire her and get out of the way,” Allen said in a widely circulated interview, although he’s actually done the opposite: Constantly framing her in extreme close-ups, he places her skill under the microscope, and Blanchett ably meets the challenge. Tasked with a throwaway line involving the ordering of a Stoli martini with a hint of lime, she conveys shocking depths of sadness with the slightest twitch in her eye. Later, conveying a panic attack during the scene that recounts the end of her marriage, she delivers some of the most intense physicality onscreen this year.

The rest of the cast is underutilized but just as strong. Hawkins capably buries her British accent with credible New York sass and a coy grin masking her own insecurities. Bobby Carnavale, playing her on-again-off-again boyfriend, lands a terrific freakout scene of his own. Peter Sarsgaard, Louis CK and Michael Stuhlbarg all crop up as potential suitors for both women, doing as much as they can with the limited material to wrestle with its ambiguous genre ingredients.

But “Blue Jasmine” belongs to Blanchett, who appears in almost every scene and frees it from the limitations of Allen’s style, pushing it to far sharper results than any of the more traditional movies, good and bad, that he’s churned out in the past dozen or so years. It’s the rare occasion where the filmmaker’s hands-off approach to directing performances pays off. Generally speaking, Allen attracts stars because his movies give actors a chance to experience living inside his self-made universe of neuroses. With few exceptions, his movies feel like different versions of the same old song. In “Blue Jasmine,” however, the instruments play themselves.

Criticwire grade: B+

HOW WILL IT PLAY? Sony Pictures Classics releases “Blue Jasmine” next Friday. With Allen’s movie generally performing well in limited release, especially when they receive good reviews, the movie’s prospects are fairly strong. Buzz for Blanchett’s performance should elevate its profile during awards season.

 

Related posts:

I love the movie “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen and I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in the film. Take a look below:

“Midnight in Paris” one of Woody Allen’s biggest movie hits in recent years, July 18, 2011 – 6:00 am

(Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)July 10, 2011 – 5:53 am

 (Part 29, Pablo Picasso) July 7, 2011 – 4:33 am

(Part 28,Van Gogh) July 6, 2011 – 4:03 am

(Part 27, Man Ray) July 5, 2011 – 4:49 am

(Part 26,James Joyce) July 4, 2011 – 5:55 am

(Part 25, T.S.Elliot) July 3, 2011 – 4:46 am

(Part 24, Djuna Barnes) July 2, 2011 – 7:28 am

(Part 23,Adriana, fictional mistress of Picasso) July 1, 2011 – 12:28 am

(Part 22, Silvia Beach and the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore) June 30, 2011 – 12:58 am

(Part 21,Versailles and the French Revolution) June 29, 2011 – 5:34 am

(Part 16, Josephine Baker) June 24, 2011 – 5:18 am

(Part 15, Luis Bunuel) June 23, 2011 – 5:37 am

“Woody Wednesday” A 2010 review of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

“Woody Wednesday” In 2009 interview Woody Allen talks about the lack of meaning of life and the allure of younger women

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

Woody Allen video interview in France talk about making movies in Paris vs NY and other subjects like God, etc

Woody Allen video interview in France Related posts: “Woody Wednesdays” Woody Allen on God and Death June 6, 2012 – 6:00 am Good website on Woody Allen How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter? If Jesus Christ came back today and […]

“Woody Wednesday” Woody Allen on the Emptiness of Life by Toby Simmons

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

Woody Allen interviews Billy Graham (Woody Wednesday)

A surprisingly civil discussion between evangelical Billy Graham and agnostic comedian Woody Allen. Skip to 2:00 in the video to hear Graham discuss premarital sex, to 4:30 to hear him respond to Allen’s question about the worst sin and to 7:55 for the comparison between accepting Christ and taking LSD. ___________________ The Christian Post > […]

“Woody Allen Wednesdays” can be seen on the www.thedailyhatch.org

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 If you like Woody Allen films as much as I do then join me every Wednesday for another look the man and his movies. Below are some of the posts from the past: “Woody Wednesday” How Allen’s film “Crimes and Misdemeanors makes the point that hell is necessary […]

“Woody Wednesday” Great Documentary on Woody Allen

I really enjoyed this documentary on Woody Allen from PBS. Woody Allen: A Documentary, Part 1 Published on Mar 26, 2012 by NewVideoDigital Beginning with Allen’s childhood and his first professional gigs as a teen – furnishing jokes for comics and publicists – WOODY ALLEN: A DOCUMENTARY chronicles the trajectory and longevity of Allen’s career: […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 6)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 3 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 3 of 3: ‘Is Woody Allen A Romantic Or A Realist?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, Crimes and Misdemeanors, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca ______________ One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 5)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 2 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 2 of 3: ‘What Does The Movie Tell Us About Ourselves?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _________________- One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed it earlier but […]

In 2009 interview Woody Allen talks about the lack of meaning of life and the allure of younger women

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

“Woody Allen Wednesdays” can be seen on the www.thedailyhatch.org

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 If you like Woody Allen films as much as I do then join me every Wednesday for another look the man and his movies. Below are some of the posts from the past: “Woody Wednesday” How Allen’s film “Crimes and Misdemeanors makes the point that hell is necessary […]

Woody Allen on the Emptiness of Life by Toby Simmons

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 4)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 1 of 3: ‘What Does Judah Believe?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _____________ One of my favorite films is this gem by Woody Allen “Crimes and Misdemeanors”: Film Review By […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 3)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 3 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 3 of 3: ‘Is Woody Allen A Romantic Or A Realist?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, Crimes and Misdemeanors, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca ______________ One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 2)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 2 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 2 of 3: ‘What Does The Movie Tell Us About Ourselves?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _________________- One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed it earlier but […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 1)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 1 of 3: ‘What Does Judah Believe?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _____________ Today I am starting a discusssion of the movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” by Woody Allen. This 1989 […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: