DIRECTOR: Woody Allen
RUNTIME: 1 hour 38 minutes
Blue Jasmine is one of Woody Allen’s best films in years. The cinematography and editing are superb as usual. Allen takes his time with his shots and there’s never an unnecessary cut. The film is a bit more on the serious side of Allen’s work, but there a few moments that are subtly humorous. It begins with a lighter tone, but gets darker as it nears the end.
Cate Blanchett is amazing in the lead role as Jasmine, a socialite with some serious mental issues. She does an excellent job of portraying mental illness without going into over the top hysterics. The film succeeds because of her multi-layered performance; she’s sure to get some attention come awards season. I would imagine she will get an Oscar nomination, and deservedly so as she gives the best lead performance I’ve seen so far this year.
The supporting cast is excellent as well. Alec Baldwin is spot-on as Jasmine’s husband Hal, who turns out to be a Wall Street crook. He’s somewhat of an understated version of his 30 Rock character. Blue Jasmine also features Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, and Boardwalk Empire’s Michael Stuhlbarg, who gives a great performance as always.
The dialogue is very effective and the characters always feel real. We don’t hear any blatantly expository dialogue; Allen shows us who these people are in a very naturalistic way.
He also has structured the film in a non-linear way, leading the audience to slowly piece together everything that has taken place. The film fluidly cuts throughout between Jasmine’s current troubles and her life with Hal before he went to prison.
Blue Jasmine has gotten excellent reviews so far. As of August 19th it has an 89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s grossed 9.4 million dollars so far, according to Box Office Mojo.