Cate Blanchett gives an excellent performance here, stealing the show from a solid cast, and great writing.
Drawing heavily from A Streetcar Named Desire, Woody Allen’s latest film looks insightfully into the life of a fallen socialite (Blanchett) who is struggling to keep herself together. It’s a film which demonstrates a strong understanding of the human condition, but it is still pitiless in its depiction of its central character, an approach that allows Blanchett to really flesh out her role psychologically, and ultimately to dominate the screen.
Blue Jasmine plays around with an interesting structure; it cuts between two very different periods in it’s protagonist’s life, and it’s a technique which, whilst I wasn’t sure about it at first, came to work very well at strategically revealing story details at effective moments, whilst also showcasing Blanchett’s tremendous skill with her portrayal of Jasmine. And she really does deserve the praise that I and many others have been bestowing on her. She takes us through various emotional and mental states with such ease that it’s disarming, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she were take away an Oscar for her work here.
But, despite appearances, it isn’t all about Blanchett here. She is supported by a great cast, with particularly good performances coming from Sally Hawkins and Andrew Dice Clay. And Woody Allen hasn’t been this sharp a writer or director in quite some time – and I really like Midnight in Paris. Still, despite my praise there are a few little bits which let this one down. The film has the occasional example of slightly odd dialogue, and there are a couple of plot developments which were somewhat predictable, and that did take away from the experience a couple of times. It’s not a masterpiece like I have heard it described, but overall though Blue Jasmine is a great film, it’s something of a return to form for Allen, and it arguably features Blanchett’s best onscreen performance to date.
What is the film’s greatest strength?
There’s no question as to it being Cate Blanchett’s fantastic performance.
Its greatest weakness?
That there was occasionally a certain predictability to events, which was a shame.
Would I see it again?
Yes I will definitely seek Blue Jasmine out again, it would only improve upon a re-watch.
So what did you think? Let me know by typing out a comment below!