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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Cate Blanchett
Alec Baldwin
Sally Hawkins
Peter Sarsgaard.
Directors
Woody Allen.
Screenwriters
Woody Allen.
Running Time
98 minutes

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Blue Jasmine
Touched by class


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Plot
With her marriage to a financial crook in ruins and her life on the rocks, clueless Manhattan socialite Jasmine (Blanchett) is forced to shack up with her blue-collar half-sister in San Francisco.


Review
Blue Jasmine

To say that Woody Allen has enjoyed a chequered career since the halcyon days of Annie Hall, Manhattan and The Purple Rose Of Cairo would be a colossal understatement. In the last decade alone he’s careened from the sparkling highs of Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Midnight In Paris to the depths of Cassandra’s Dream and Scoop. And every time he does unleash a clunker, the demise of his career and the final fizzle of his creative flame is loudly trumpeted — Woody’s lost it; should’ve stayed in New York; not a patch on his ‘early, funny ones’ etc, etc. Of course, he then turns round and delivers a film like Blue Jasmine.

Starring Cate Blanchett as a cosseted Manhattanite pitched headfirst into the post-meltdown realities of working-class America — realities she is hopelessly ill-equipped to deal with — this isn’t merely vintage Woody, it’s evidence of a whole new Woody. Expanding on the introspection that has crept into his more conventional dramas as he has aged, it also has room for biting satire, deftly skewering the heedless mores of the ‘one percenters’ who carry on regardless while the rest of the country stumbles in the wreckage.

Blanchett plays Jasmine, an icy New York socialite (one of the “social X-rays”, as Tom Wolfe called them in The Bonfire Of The Vanities) whose pampered bubble bursts when husband Hal (Alec Baldwin, terrific) is exposed as a Bernie Madoff-style conman and she flees to San Francisco to seek refuge with her adoptive sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins). Her subsequent attempts to rebuild her life without practical skills, any concept of work and little education are painfully well-observed.

Featuring a powerhouse performance from Blanchett, Jasmine is a work of such incisive brilliance it gives the lie to any notion that Allen is a spent force, suggesting, moreover, that even at the age of 77, he still has the power to surprise us.
 


Verdict
Allen’s best film in years, astute, humane and shot through with keen observations on the state of the world. It may also, in its pondering the price of deceit and the pain of rebuilding a life from nothing, count as broad social allegory.


Reviewed by Simon Braund

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Blue Jasmine
Empire Star Rating

Difficult stuff

Cate Blanchett's performance in Blue Jasmine cut me open for a few days. The pit of my stomach grew heavy throughout the film and I simultaneously felt the weight and brilliance of her character, Jasmine. I love it when a character is able to tear me apart and pull from opposite ends. While I recognized Jasmine's destructive influence, I also felt sorry for her situation and hoped that she could somehow pull herself out of it, even if it was to go back to the superficial pampering that seems to ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by emilyelizabeth1283 at 01:19, 07 July 2014 | Report This Post


RE: Worst. New Order tribute band. Ever.

OMG YOU TWO GET YOUR NEW ORDER SONG TITLES RIGHT IF YOU'RE MAKING JOKES! ... More

Posted by MonsterCat at 14:39, 05 November 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Worst. New Order tribute band. Ever.

L: MonsterCat L: TheMightyBlackout Cate Blanchett is giving a stunningly understated performance of someone who's lost their grip on reality, in a moving and thought-provoking film that subtly draws you into wanting to know more about her damaged character. Unfortunately, she seems to be alone in her endeavour (and I include Woody Allen in that). Not funny enough to be a comedy; not deep enough to be a drama. There. I said it. ew Order didn't make a song called Blu... More

Posted by jonson at 14:33, 05 November 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Worst. New Order tribute band. Ever.

I enjoyed the movie a lot - and Cate Blanchett's performance was great. Every time Alec Baldwin was on screen, I kept thinking: "Oh look, it's Jack from 30 Rock!" ... More

Posted by Pandora at 12:48, 05 November 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Worst. New Order tribute band. Ever.

L: MonsterCat L: TheMightyBlackout Cate Blanchett is giving a stunningly understated performance of someone who's lost their grip on reality, in a moving and thought-provoking film that subtly draws you into wanting to know more about her damaged character. Unfortunately, she seems to be alone in her endeavour (and I include Woody Allen in that). Not funny enough to be a comedy; not deep enough to be a drama. There. I said it. ew Order didn't make a song called Blu... More

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 23:12, 24 October 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Worst. New Order tribute band. Ever.

L: TheMightyBlackout Cate Blanchett is giving a stunningly understated performance of someone who's lost their grip on reality, in a moving and thought-provoking film that subtly draws you into wanting to know more about her damaged character. Unfortunately, she seems to be alone in her endeavour (and I include Woody Allen in that). Not funny enough to be a comedy; not deep enough to be a drama. There. I said it. ew Order didn't make a song called Blue Jasmine, they made a ... More

Posted by MonsterCat at 01:37, 16 October 2013 | Report This Post


my favourite Woody Allen movie...

... i have now seen two Woody Allen movies. Blanchett gives one of the best performances I've ever watched. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tysmuse at 21:35, 10 October 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Save yourself the disappointment

I don't like Blanchett,but she's fantastic in this,she defies you not to feel sympathy. Why are Woody's films always critiqued against previous work and not singularly? This is raw,painful,slightly funny and a great exploration of a mental meltdown. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by CriticNumberOne at 01:18, 10 October 2013 | Report This Post


Save yourself the disappointment

Despite what you may hear about the performance of Blanchett, which is fantastic, this does not a whole movie make. The story (what there is of it) is cliched beyond belief, straight out of world of Jackie Collins, Danielle Steel and Sidney Sheldon. The story of woe of the high flyer who has hit ground zero after her hubby is outed for criminal deeds (to boring to go into) and needs to use her feminine charms to pull another high society spiv. The story really is no deeper than that, despite wha... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Azzurro06 at 19:09, 06 October 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Every Other Allen

L: makeminemedia Is it me or does every third woody allen film get called his best film in years? hat's quite true, but on this evidence it best in years. L: TheMightyBlackout Not funny enough to be a comedy; not deep enough to be a drama. rong on both counts. ...unless you were talking about filth? ... More

Posted by Qwerty Norris at 23:32, 02 October 2013 | Report This Post


Worst. New Order tribute band. Ever.

Cate Blanchett is giving a stunningly understated performance of someone who's lost their grip on reality, in a moving and thought-provoking film that subtly draws you into wanting to know more about her damaged character. Unfortunately, she seems to be alone in her endeavour (and I include Woody Allen in that). Not funny enough to be a comedy; not deep enough to be a drama. There. I said it. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 18:34, 29 September 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Blue Jasmine

In recent years when it comes to the work of Woody Allen, critics will always say that whatever new film he makes has been his best in years, whether it is the overrated Vicky Cristina Barcelona or the delightful fantasy Midnight in Paris. While there is the occasional duffer like Whatever Works, Mr Allen would make a big comeback which in this case, is Blue Jasmine. Following her failed marriage to a financial crook, the former New York ultra-wealthy socialite Jasmine Francis (Cate Blanch... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by R W at 00:36, 28 September 2013 | Report This Post


Review

Film based on a play "A Street car named desire" that is why it is so powerfull! As his Match point ( i love it so much) cause based on " a American tradegy" by Theodor Dreiser with more real ending the evil gets away with the crime....reflects nowadays... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Shosta at 14:03, 26 September 2013 | Report This Post


Every Other Allen

Is it me or does every third woody allen film get called his best film in years? Having only seen his early stuff and his late stuff and the great documentary, I understand that during the 90s there was a bad run of films...but can't we just say "Woody Allen does another decent film." ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by makeminemedia at 14:08, 25 September 2013 | Report This Post


By far his best

This is great film-making. None of the gimmicks of his recent hits, almost every character complex and realistic. Allen's always had a great ear for dialogue, but has almost always relied on having a central Woody Allen type character to anchor half of every conversation. There's no such character in this. He's now able to fully imagine realistic dialogue between a range of complex characters. He's writing characters of a kind, of a class, he hasn't tackled before and you keeping waiting for the... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Melbourne Dan at 11:10, 25 September 2013 | Report This Post


2/5

Blue Jasmine is 5, Manhattan is 4 ? Are you kidding right now? BJ is one of the Allen's poorest films. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bereski at 11:53, 24 September 2013 | Report This Post


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