Movie Title: Blue Jasmine
PG – 13, 1 hour38 minutes
In a Nutshell: The best part of this Woody Allen film is the stunning Cate Blanchett, who just won a Golden Globe for this role, as well as an Oscar nomination with buzz of a win. She plays Jasmine/Jeanette, a wealthy Park Avenue wife whose life unravels, leaving her to discover and reinvent herself. It’s a bit depressing, but darkly funny. Some people will find some satisfaction in watching a rich snob fall to the bottom of the financial barrel. Of course, Alec Baldwin is completely believable in his role as a Bernie Madolf type of husband. Andrew Dice Clay hardly has to act and British actress Sally Hawkins is delightful as Jasmine’s sister Ginger.
Uplifting theme: It’s a cautionary tale of sorts for women. Girls, pay attention to your finances; don’t “let” your husband take care of it all. Be an informed partner. Jasmine’s brother-in-law Augie said about her “She’s a phony and had to know.” Did she? We hear one of Jasmine’s wealthy gal pal’s advise her “Just don’t file a joint tax return.” Jasmine sighs “I sign anything…I’m very trusting.” Famous last words.
Jasmine’s step-son asks “Did you not suspect anything or did you not care?” Good question. She turned the other eye at her husband’s dishonest business dealings, but ironically, she drew the line at his cheating. Jasmine is so delusional that she makes a remark about another man who can’t seem to live without a woman, but in reality, she is the one who can’t live without a man. She criticizes her sister for choosing to date losers, but Jasmine’s husband Hal is the bigger loser, albeit an extremely wealthy one.
Jasmine said “There’s only so many traumas a person can withstand before you take to the streets and start screaming.” Perhaps those who judge “crazy” people mumbling on the park bench will now stop to consider what pains and sorrows brought the person to that point.
Things I liked: Cate Blanchett is simply mesmerizing to watch. Woody Allen is a master at building characters and choosing his leading women. I loved Jasmine’s gorgeous home on the beach.
Things I didn’t like: I hated watching women being lied to by married men. I was surprised that there was nothing interesting to see at the beginning…just rolling names on the screen. I might have panned across beautiful homes of the “rich and famous” or the Hamptons. Same thing. The film is a bit messy at times, but I suppose that matches the lives of the people in it.
• “I changed it. Yeah, Jeanette had no panache.” - Jasmine
• Can you believe I had to move out of my beautiful home and take a place in Brooklyn?” - Jasmine
• Ginger asks Jasmine “How did you fly First Class” and Jasmine answers “I don’t know. I just did.”
• “I suppose I’m going to have to invite them to my birthday party now.” – Jasmine
• “Tomorrow I’m definitely taking the day off. I’ve neglected everything: my yoga, my pilates…” - Jasmine
• “Not bad taste for a Philistine businessman.” - Hal when he gives Jasmine an expensive bracelet”
• “Nurses are hot to go to bed with.” – Ginger’s new boyfriend
• “They say every year millions of brain cells just die off.” – Jasmine as she throws back a glass of alcohol
• “He’s sexy and he doesn’t steal.” – Ginger
• “Edison’s Medicine – because they use electricity to get you thinking straight again.” - Jasmine
Things to look for:
• The way she treats people in the service industry at the beginning.
• The “infinity pool” in her backyard
• Jasmine checks her watch when Ginger & Augie come to visit
• Jasmine’s gigantic diamond wedding ring
Tips for parents:
This is really not a movie for children. The film is a character study with no action. In other words, they’ll be bored to death. Some profanity, but no F-bombs. Some sexual discussions and a terrifically awkward groping scene with a pathetic dentist.