Review of Woody Allen’s latest movie “Blue Jasmine” Part 2

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.

Oscar Winner Cate Blanchett Stuns in Latest Woody Allen Film Video ABC News

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Blue Jasmine: movie review(PG-13)

Blue Jasmine

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Time Out rating:

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Time Out says

Thu Jul 18

Woody Allen loves his little liars, his self-regarding theater people and swaddled urbanites who, even when pushed up against reality, put on a good show. “Don’t speak!” insists glamorous Dianne Wiest in Bullets Over Broadway, railing against John Cusack’s love talk but also against any upstaging of her special glow. And in Allen’s immortal The Purple Rose of Cairo, the dreamlife of the movies withstands fourth-wall breakage and even a crushed heart; that last shot of Mia Farrow is of someone content to be lost in oblivion.

But has Allen, the most painfully self-aware of American directors, ever allowed his fantasizers to fall on the rocks as ruinously as Cate Blanchett does in Blue Jasmine? I don’t think so. (He may not have been capable of doing it until now, with more films behind him than on the horizon.) Blanchett’s Jasmine enters the movie arrestingly: a fidgety, elbowy presence on a cross-country flight, chatting the ear off a seatmate about sex and the better things in life. The voice is a conspiratorial purr, desperately in need of a confidant; you wait for the trapped stranger’s eye roll, but, almost alarmingly, it becomes clear that this isn’t a comedy.

Jasmine, we learn in a toggling flashback structure that also feels fresh to Allen’s style, is fleeing the scorched earth of a broken marriage to a Bernie Madoff–like fraud, Hal (Alec Baldwin), a swindler of fortunes. Even as she steps disdainfully through the earthy San Francisco apartment of her half-welcoming sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins), another of Hal’s victims, there’s an unwillingness to shed former airs. A vodka bottle on the shelf will help; Allen turns the shot of Jasmine at the liquor station self-medicating into a repeated gag as she settles in for some much-needed “rebuilding.”

Can this gala planner and bruncher, a professional recipient of jewelry, commit to computer classes? How it hurts to watch Jasmine try. A job in the office of a dentist (Michael Stuhlbarg, tops in a tricky part) also goes poorly. Allen’s sharp script, perhaps the most economically minded of his career, situates an array of naysayers around Jasmine: not just Ginger’s ex-husband (a surprisingly deep Andrew Dice Clay), who lost a windfall in the pyramid scheme, but the sister’s new boyfriend, Chili (Bobby Cannavale), a doting mechanic who’s instantly put off by the interloper’s brittle Manhattitude.

It’s real Streetcar Named Desire territory as the fights pile up, and if you think that doesn’t sound entertaining, know that it is, in a hypnotically catastrophic way. Blanchett’s eyes begin to burn with panic (she’s never been this agonizing, channeling the ragged edge of Gena Rowlands) as she lashes out at all the “losers,” and Allen’s material pushes everyone to make terrible choices. The essence of Blue Jasmine feels timely, even years into America’s limp rebound from recession: How do we start over, when guilt can’t be fully processed and sacrifice is demeaned? Boldly, this isn’t a drama that eases into forgiveness or comeuppance; instead, everyone is taken down a peg. Why so cynical, Woodman? We remember Crimes and Misdemeanors(which this film most resembles in tone); now here’s a savage prosecution of the 1 percent. It’s not the movie anyone could have expected—which is stunning in itself. But maybe the time for sweet self-delusions is through.

Blue Jasmine opens Fri 26.

Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf

Author: Joshua Rothkopf

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

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

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