Blue Jasmine | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, November 25th, 2020  

Blue Jasmine

Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Woody Allen

Jul 25, 2013 Web Exclusive
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Woody Allen's latest is mostly dour, its few laughs often coming from discomfort and uneasiness rather than humor. Former socialite Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) has lost everything after her rich, shady businessman husband (Alec Baldwin) is revealed as a crook. Recovering from a breakdown, she moves in with her divorced sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins), and tries to pick up the pieces of her life in a brand new city. Jasmine is wondrously disconnected from the rigmarole of normal life; she's never had to hold a job or think for herself, and knows little of the world as it's seen through the eyes of a 99 percenter. However, it's the characters' shared history that provides the film its richest rewards: Blue Jasmine plays out-of-sequence, bouncing between the present and the sisters' sad pasts, revealing details of the backstory only once their impact will be most potent. Try to go in to Blue Jasmine blind, if possible-the film's few gut-wrenching surprises shouldn't be spoiled.

Blanchett is impressive as a woman constantly teetering on the edge of collapse; there's a perpetual sense something tragic simmers beneath her constructed facade. The film also includes a pair of tender, dramatic turns from comedians Louis C.K. and Andrew Dice Clay, but Blue Jasmine's show-stealing performance comes from Bobby Cannavale (who recently played Gyp Rosetti on Boardwalk Empire). The actor-who plays Ginger's smitten boyfriend-shows a terrifying explosive, yet heartbreakingly fragile side lies underneath his imposing exterior; few supporting characters this year have felt so fully-fleshed, and Cannavale does it with such little screentime.


Author rating: 7.5/10

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