Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Entertainment

February 6, 2014

'Blue Jasmine' bolstered by strong performances

Writer/director Woody Allen’s latest film is the drama, Blue Jasmine (PG-13).

Cate Blanchett stars as down-on-her-luck Manhattan socialite whose life is turned upside down when her husband (Alec Baldwin) is arrested in a Bernie Madoff-type scam. With no other options, Blanchett’s Jasmine heads to San Francisco to live with her free-spirited sister (Sally Hawkins). Andrew Dice Clay, Louis C.K. and Peter Sarsgaard costar in the film.

Andy: Blue Jasmine is, staggeringly, the 73rd film Woody Allen has worked on. While it is hard to put his personal life totally aside, there is no question that the quantity and quality of Allen’s films make him one of the pillars of American cinema. It is also remarkable that he is able to continue making films so regularly without all of them seeming the same. Blue Jasmine is no exception, as we are forced to deal with some of the implications of the financial crises, class relations, and who bears responsibility for some of the things that happened to our economy in the last decade.

Ryan: More of a drama than a typical comedy or dramedy from Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine is at times a thorny movie to watch – not because of the melodrama or scenes of intense emotional dialogue. More to the point, it’s an intricate film to watch because one is never quite sure how to feel about the lead character.

At times, one feels pity (her husband repeatedly cheated on her) and compassion (she’s lost her home and livelihood) for Jasmine in the situation she now finds herself in. But — and this is a big but — she’s not a (very) likable character. She has no awareness for how the people around her perceive her, and she lacks any kind of self-awareness at all.

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