Last night I finally got around to watching Blue Jasmine, and I must say, despite my initial reservations about the storyline, I enjoyed it!
The movie, featuring Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett playing wealthy New York socialite, Jasmine, at wit’s end after her husband Hal’s (Alec Baldwin) questionable business endeavors lead them to financial ruin, is emotionally raw and awkward.
While a storyline of this nature normally does not catch my interest, unless rivaling the gutsiness of the The Wolf on Wall Street (okay maybe not that gutsy), in there lies the beauty of Netflix–a flat monthly rate for unlimited movies.
The messiness and realness with which the story is told by Woody Allen and played by Blanchett is entirely unnerving. There are no moments of bliss or forgiveness in this movie. Even while Jasmine finds herself kissing Dwight (Peter Sarsgaard) on the back porch of their soon-to-be new home, possibly returning her to the privileged life that marked her past, she cannot shake the feeling of being wildly out of control, thus continuing her lies and hurtling her closer towards disaster. Constantly popping pills to avoid a meltdown, something about her fall from grace, and never returning to it despite her greatest efforts, is deeply satisfying. The movie is real, and no it’s not a chick-flick.
Throughout the film Blanchett gives a convincing performance as we watch her meander around the streets of San Francisco trying to make sense of her new reality and incorporate herself into lower class society where her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) lives. These scenes often punctuated by the complete inability of Jasmine to relate to her environment.
Though the story of broken socialite sent back to reality is not exactly a plot-line we haven’t heard, Jasmine’s complete loss of control feels refreshing, especially as she slips deeper into her own despair.
My one qualm about the movie was setting. At times, it seems to portray the 70s and 80s, though clearly other elements in the film, specifically cars and technology, remind you the story takes place in present day. Maybe it’s just the vintage filter Woody Allen gives the movie. However, I found this confusing and had to remind myself where I was.
Overall, definitely a movie to check out if you haven’t done so already!