Blue Jasmine--Directed and written by Woody Allen/starring Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard, Andrew Dice Clay, Louis C.K., Annie McNamara/98 mins/ PG-13
Bifocal Review written by Ageless1der Barbara Rich & The Other Guy
(B) This film is about a sophisticated socialite, played by Cate Blanchett, who has lost her fortune (ala the Bernie Maddoff scandal). She is forced to move in with her sister (a step down socially). Watching Blanchett unravel, is electrifying as she tries desperately to cope with her new lifestyle while trying to recreate herself. This is the first Woody Allen movie where so much emotion was involved. It could be because he’s older, but I thoroughly appreciated this side of his complex mind. The co-stars are cast well, but Blanchett’s tour-de-force really drove the movie for me. As a woman, I related, even though I’ve never come close to that world of wealth. Somehow, I totally understood her crises, and the story certainly proves that money isn’t everything. The characters who are most happy are the ones who have values that are not measured in dollars and cents. I give this film three and a half binoculars and say, in advance, Cate Blanchette’s performance (and Woody Allen’s brilliant writing) deserve nods in the coming awards season.
(OG) This is one of the finest, most taut Woody Allen scripts that I’ve ever seen, and I love the Woodsman. There is nothing wasted here. Every character, every line, every cinematic direction, every camera angle is finely drawn to create an image with a corresponding feeling. Is the movie about images? Is it about family? Is it about creating oneself? Is it about relationships, love, sex, desire, fulfillment of human needs as opposed to making money, or the importance of telling the truth and about trust? Is this a primer for storytelling in the modern age, or a vehicle for great actors and actresses to show their chops? The answer in all cases is “Yes.” The more I think about this movie, the better I like it, because I realize how nicely the whole package fits together. Barbara said it all above about Ms. Blanchett, and I agree. This is another four binocular film and an indication of the makings of another rip-roaring awards season.
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