Blue Jasmine

Woody Allen is a prolific filmmaker, averaging at least one a year; this has meant that in the past he has had nearly as many misses as hits. So after the superb ‘Midnight In Paris’ it is nice to see his return to form continue with his latest ‘Blue Jasmine’. While all the cast are excellent it’s Cate Blanchett as Jasmine that steals the show giving a powerful performance as the socialite high flyer reduced to slumming it after her husband is found guilty of fraud. The sheer range of emotions conveyed meant at times I forgot it was her altogether as she swings from seemingly strong to obviously fragile. Allen uses flashbacks to show us the privileged and shallow Jasmine who has no concept of the lack of money and present day where she has no concept of what it is to have to have a job.  The sad thing is she doesn’t seem to fit in either world and comes across as the lost great pretender; of course it’s a lot easier to pretend when money is no object. While some would expect an Allen film to contain comedy, there is the odd moment, mostly this plays out like a tragic drama and in doing so it’s hard to like the characters and it’s certainly hard to muster any empathy for Jasmine as she unravels affecting everyone around her. But with a great script and light-hearted direction ‘Blue Jasmine’ is a solid addition to Allen’s body of work and an even stronger addition to Blanchett’s.

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