You can be forgiven if at first you believe the well-dressed woman bending the ear of her neighbor on a plane, then through the terminal, then into baggage claim, is just a rank narcissist.

“TMI! Too much information!” you think on behalf of the courteous listener as Jasmine recounts how she fell for her husband, Hal, to the romantic strains of “Blue Moon.”

In “Blue Jasmine,” Woody Allen’s latest timely and prickly drama, Jasmine is so much more than mere egotist. As inhabited to the core by Cate Blanchett, she represents denial and complicity, shame and haughtiness and fear — unbridled, whinnying fear.

That’s for starters.

Quite a bit has already been written about Blanchett’s performance catapulting Jasmine into the pantheon of Allen’s most indelible female characters. And as the unraveling wife of a disgraced financier (Alec Baldwin), the Australian actress has become front-runner in the very early legs of the race for Oscar.

“Blue Jasmine” also lands high on Allen’s list of telling ethics tales: It is not as complete as “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and arguably not as nuanced as “Match Point.”

Jasmine will repeat the story of her fateful love affair again and again once she arrives, designer hat in bejeweled hand, at her sister’s modest apartment in San Francisco.

Jasmine resembles one of those ’50s wives — widowed or dumped — who find themselves with nary a skill to survive, or at least not in the manner they’d grown accustomed.

Sally Hawkins portrays Jasmine’s only sibling. Divorced, Ginger lives with her two young sons. A supermarket worker, she dates Chili (Bobby Cannavale). She’s kindly, if cowed, in her big sister’s presence.

In moving back and forth between New York and San Francisco — before the debacle that robbed Jasmine of her status and after — Allen fills in the parts Jasmine’s ever-flowing narrative washes over.

Men are central, as rescuers true and false and companions imperfect but loyal. Peter Sarsgaard plays David, a diplomat who might just save Jasmine from her low circumstances, if not from herself.

Baldwin is near perfect as Hal. He’s a cad. He’s a charmer. Allen also gets fine turns from Andrew Dice Clay as Ginger’s ex, Augie, and comic Louis C.K. as Al, the man Ginger could see herself trading up for.

Lisa Kennedy: 303-954-1567, or