"Blanche DuBois in San Francisco"
What You Need To Know:
BLUE JASMINE is a serio-comic movie by Woody Allen about a troubled woman, her sister, and her memories of her failed marriage. A penniless socialite named Jasmine arrives in San Francisco to live with her sister and her sister’s two sons. Jasmine has lots of problems trying to create a new life in Frisco. Meanwhile, her memories about her life in New York with her husband, Hal, haunt her. Many of the memories are happy ones. However, memories of the downfall of her marriage and Hal’s arrest and subsequent suicide eventually shatter Jasmine’s attempts to pull herself together.
BLUE JASMINE is Woody Allen’s best-acted movie in some time. Cate Blanchett does a brilliant job portraying Jasmine. The rest of the cast is also excellent. However, there’s nothing particularly religious or moral about BLUE JASMINE. It’s mostly a compelling, but humanist, character study told in a riveting manner. Even so, it does show the personal destruction people can create when they deny reality or act out of anger and revenge. BLUE JASMINE also contains plenty of strong foul language, so extreme caution is advised.
(H, B, LLL, V, S, A, D, MM) Light humanist worldview with no particularly overt moral or religious content, but a light moral sense of the tragedy of the human condition and how our mistakes and sins can bring personal destruction; about 21 obscenities (including two or three “f” words), 21 strong profanities, 25 light profanities, and an obscene gesture; angry man tears phone off wall and throws it, angry man pushes/throws lamp, and brief verbal references to one man’s suicide after he’s put in prison; implied fornication turns out to be adultery on part of woman’s new lover who turns out to be married, passionate adulterous kiss by another married man, and talk about that man’s marital infidelity (no one tells man’s wife about it, even her own sister); no nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and, woman informs on her husband out of revenge, shady deals gets man in trouble, lying, ingratitude, conceit, woman puts on airs, and a tone of no hope for recovery for troubled heroine who destroys her own life, with help from her cheating husband.
BLUE JASMINE is a serio-comic movie by Woody Allen about a troubled woman, her sister and her memories of her failed marriage. It features a brilliant turn by Cate Blanchett of LORD OF THE RINGS, who gives an Oscar-worthy performance as the troubled woman. The movie, however, offers a humanist take on an ultimately depressing story that contains plenty of strong profanities and references to infidelity.
Rated PG-13, the movie opens with a penniless socialite named Jasmine coming to San Francisco to live with her sister, Ginger, and her sister’s two sons. As Jasmine has lots of problems trying to create a new life in Frisco, her memories about her life in New York with her husband, Hal, haunt her. Many of the memories are happy ones, but the memories of the downfall of Jasmine’s marriage and Hal’s arrest and subsequent death eventually shatter Jasmine’s attempts to pull herself together.
Meanwhile, Jasmine’s sister Ginger is still a bit resentful for Hal roping Ginger and Ginger’s own ex-husband, Augie, into one of Hal’s investments, which went south after Hal was arrested. Despite this painful past history, Jasmine convinces Ginger to stray from her gruff, hot-tempered blue-collar boyfriend. Jasmine thinks Ginger’s new boyfriend is another low-class person like her ex-husband. At the same time, Ginger convinces Jasmine to study to become a designer or interior decorator, something for which Jasmine might be really suited to do.
While Ginger embarks on a new relationship with a sound engineer, Jasmine begins to see a potential lifeline when she meets a sophisticated man named Dwight. Dwight is a diplomat looking for an interior decorator for his new house. When he also shows interest in a serious relationship with Jasmine, Jasmine lies to him about her past. Those lies turn out to be Jasmine’s undoing.
BLUE JASMINE is Woody Allen’s best-acted movie in some time. Cate Blanchett does a brilliant job portraying Jasmine. She doesn’t just depict the woman’s insecurities, vulnerabilities, self-delusions, haughtiness, elegance, superficiality, and sense of entitlement; she physically embodies these qualities throughout the movie. In doing so, she elicits apt comparisons to Scarlett O’Hara of GONE WITH THE WIND and Blanche DuBois of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE. In fact, other characters also seem to reflect some aspects of the characters from STREETCAR, especially Sally Hawkins as the sister and Bobby Cannavale as the sister’s boyfriend. One can only assume this latter connection is intentional.
However, there’s nothing particularly religious or moral about BLUE JASMINE. It’s mostly a compelling, but humanist, character study told in a riveting manner. That said, the movie doesn’t endorse the serial infidelity of Jasmine’s late husband (nothing explicit is shown other than a passionate adulterous kiss witnessed on the street). The scenes in New York from Jasmine’s past mirror the ones that occur in San Francisco until the story’s denouement. This gives an elegant structure to the story. One scene is downright hilarious, when a distraught Jasmine seriously tries to explain her problems to Ginger’s two sons, and the sons just stare at her, unable to understand a word of what their crazy aunt is telling them. Ultimately, the movie offers no hope for its troubled, flawed heroine, but it does show the personal destruction people can create when they deny reality or act out of anger and revenge.
BLUE JASMINE also contains plenty of foul language, including more than 20 strong profanities. The corrupt Motion Picture Association of America has limited the movie to two or three “f” words, however, so the filmmakers have retained (inexplicably) a PG-13 rating. MOVIEGUIDE® advises Extreme Caution for Woody Allen’s BLUE JASMINE.