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Old 01-22-2014, 02:01 AM   #31
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Another review and performance praise.......


And the Oscar goes to Cate Blanchett...
7/10
Author: estebangonzalez10 from Ecuador
14 January 2014

"Who do you have to sleep with around here to get a Stoli martini with a twist of lemon?"

Woody Allen has returned to the States for this film after experiencing some extended vacations over Europe (To Rome with Love, Midnight in Paris, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, and Vicky Cristina Barcelona), and this time the story takes place mostly in San Francisco, although we do get several interesting flashbacks in New York (Allen's favorite filming location). I mention these locations because in most of his films these cities are actual characters and sometimes even main ones. There were two general criticisms I had read about Blue Jasmine before watching it, one was that this was Woody Allen's return to form and the second was that Cate Blanchett's performance was magnificent. I agree with the second statement because Blanchett delivers one of the best performances of the year and she is the main reason why this film actually worked for me. As for the second statement I have to differ because I thought Midnight in Paris was his best recent film and I enjoyed it much more than Blue Jasmine. I do have to say that Woody Allen's capacity for writing and directing these films in such a short period of time (he's directed one every year for the past decades) impresses me. He has a unique voice in all of his films that sometimes make me picture him talking through each one of his characters. I remember something similar happening to me during college when I would be reading over my notes as I studied for a final exam actually listening to my professors unique voice in my head as I read. This is what happens to me often during a Woody Allen film as I imagine his head popping over one of his characters. It happened during this film as well, except for Blanchett's character who managed to bring her unique style which took a voice of its own. She deserves all the accolades she's been receiving from her peers and critics alike. It was a wonderful performance and an affecting one as well.

Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) was a New York socialite who lived a happy and blessed life with her husband Hal (Alec Baldwin), until he was sent to prison for fraudulent business acts. We get to discover some darker secrets about their past as the story unravels through flashbacks, but the film opens at the present as Jasmine is returning to San Francisco to live with her sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins) and her two sons, completely broke. She has experienced several mental breakdowns due to her traumatic past, and despite being estranged from her sister during that time, Ginger takes her in. Jasmine imposes on Ginger who wasn't as blessed as she was and is working at a grocery store while dating Chili (Bobby Canavale). Jasmine and Chili don't get along too well as she has interfered in his plans to move in with Ginger. Jasmine is always telling her that she should find someone better like she did (which wasn't really the case) and that is the reason for the constant friction between them. In San Francisco, Jasmine meets another wealthy man named Dwight (Peter Saarsgard) who she begins dating, and which gives her hope that she will recover her past glory, but her constant lies begin catching up with her affecting her relationship with him and her sister.

I wouldn't say this is a character driven story because I felt a lot of them were one dimensional characters, with the exception of Jasmine of course. The people in Woody Allen's films don't tend to feel real or authentic at times, and they usually are just cartoonish caricatures from a bubbled world. Allen's films aren't the laugh out loud type either, I find them funny in a rather witty way. He is slick at times and the scenes put a smile on your face, but they don't have you laughing hysterically. Blanchett does manage to portray Jasmine in a more authentic and believable way, showing her flaws and inner struggles with her mental illness. It's a character that we find hard to sympathize with, but also feel sorry for as her life begins falling apart. She's the type of person who cannot be on her own and is always depending on someone. I also liked the way in which Woody Allen told the story and let the past unravel smoothly through flashbacks revealing several things about her character. This along with Blanchett's performance is what saves the movie and makes it entertaining, but I wouldn't agree with the critics who are saying this is Allen's best work in years. I do agree it is perhaps his most tragic and darkest comedy in recent years.
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:24 PM   #32
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award after award after award after award

wooohooooo. keep it up blanchett.
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:53 AM   #33
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"Blue Jasmine".....Not to be missed. The casting is spot-on, everyone perfectly suited to bring these characters to life. Everything has already been said about Cate Blanchett, and it's all deserved. She is flat-out AMAZING. This role could've easily been over the top, but somehow Blanchett keeps this role grounded and nails every nuance. Her Jasmine is a pill-popping alcoholic and manic-depressive who mumbles to herself and frequently gets stuck in a memory. This may very well be the best role and performance of Blanchett's career so far. I have never seen her act out a character like "Jasmine". The woman(character) was just wrecked and mentally damaged, and Blanchett delivers an outstanding, heartbreaking, and whirlwind of a performance! The supporting cast is also impressive, in particular Sally Hawkins as her sister "Ginger". Woody Allen's dialogue/screenplay is quite strong, especially in scenes where the ensemble get to interact with one another. His location shots in New York and San Francisco work very well for the story, and his shots of San Francisco in particular are great. I also think a few scenes could have been held a little longer and the editing not to be so abrupt in a few parts. This is a highly entertaining picture that is powered by a brilliant lead performance and a wonderful supporting cast!! Nominated for 3 (Best Actress, Supporting Actress, Screenplay) Academy awards!!

9/10
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:32 PM   #34
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new month, some new reviews



A Genuine Film Worth Seeing
8/10
Author: rana2757 from Toronto, Canada
8 February 2014

A great story of desperate people with ordinary dreams. The title is deceptive but pleasantly so. In this case, our heroine, pretty as the flower of the same name, is rotting from the inside, the stink evident as her neurotic predisposition sinks into psychosis. The storytelling is superbly done, being masterfully presented by switching seamlessly between past and present, between glory days and dog days. Cate Blanchett's portrayal of excess and penury is entirely authentic. She connects instantly from the opening scene, her voice and dramatic flair so overwhelming throughout the film that she leaves us wondering whether real life for her is any different. An amazing achievement. She truly carries the movie. Unfortunately, the depiction of men throughout the movie is quite dismaying with no real knight in shining armor here. Anything masculine was hopelessly sleazy, except for Chili, boyfriend to Jasmine's sister. But even he came across as a wuss. Shrug. Finally, Hal, Jasmine's husband could've played a more interesting role. He seems to have been added only to ensure a villain was available to hate. Actually seeing him work a shady deal would have taken the story telling to a higher level. Don't mistake this for a chick flick.



Blanchett, Blanchett, All I see is Cate Blanchett
8/10
Author: gabriel-milon from England
6 February 2014

I'll be honest. I wasn't in any sort of rush to watch this film. I've only just recently gotten into the masterful mind of Woody Allen through his excellent movies and wanted a chance to see more of his work with Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow before watching any more of his recent pictures. When I found out that this was a re-hashing of my favorite play, A Streetcar Named Desire, I was instantly unsure if I even wanted to watch it, point blank. Be not afraid, fellow film buffs. Woody Allen hasn't cheapened the good name of Tennessee Williams in any respect. This film is made in such a way that it really does stand alone and I found myself watching it without constantly connecting it to Streetcar. The most important aspect of the film to mention is the sheer amount of quality acting throughout. With Cate Blanchett's terrifyingly unhinged and spiteful performance as Jasmine at the helm of this film, it's easy to get lost in her odd body language and bizarre facial expressions. But what impressed me most of all was how her performance wasn't as Blanche-esque as I thought it would. Blanchett makes the character entirely her own and in one scene where she goes to a party, I found myself spitefully commenting on the choice of music that the host was playing. Her performance is so enigmatic, it's contagious. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this film. It is by no means a masterpiece, but I would certainly recommend it.



A typical Woody Allen comedy drama, driven by Cate Blanchett's jaw dropping performance.
8/10
Author: A_Voice from India
6 February 2014

Woody Allen while maintaining his one movie each year streak, manages to produce another of his cheeky humourish drama about human psychology. As much repetitive it might seem to his previous work, it's flaws and repetitiveness is completely foreshadowed by Cate Blanchett's best ever.

Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) is a proud ex-upper class lady, who after the loss of her wealth, moves in to her sister's place. Struggling to come in terms of her own past, she not only becomes a headache for those around her, but ruins herself also.

Just like all Woody Allen films, this film also has a 'stage drama' feel to it, with the protagonist being there from frame one to the last frame, and everyone else just coming and playing there part. As always Woody proves himself one of the best presenter of human psychology and mannerism, with this strong account of narcissism.

But what comes as a striking surprise from this low budgeted typical 'old classic drama' is Cate Blanchett's superb portrayal of Jasmine a egoistic lady. She certainly deserves the Oscar this year. It was also good to see Sally Hawkins' great rendering of Ginger. The story might be ordinary, but Woody with help from Cate and Sally, manages to produce to characters which will be remembered for long.

The film also has some good production design. The editing is also good and keeps the film more interesting with the parallel flashbacks, however, it might seem a little abrupt at times.

Direction: Nice.

Story/Screenplay: A typical Woody Allen stage drama with strong characters and a satire on human nature. Even though it is good, but I still feel the best writing nomination was a surprise, as his previous works are more or less the same.

Acting: Cate Blanchett will be a sure shot winner at The 86th Oscars, she totally surpasses Amy and Sandra's performances. Surprisingly, Sally was also great. Alec and others fit into their roles perfectly.

Music: Good background score with collage of 80's soundtrack accompanies by Conal Fowkes' "Blue Moon", a pleasure to the ears.
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Old 02-16-2014, 04:42 PM   #35
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Another big win for Cate Blanchett for her role in "Blue Jasmine". She won the BAFTA award today for Best Actress. All that is left is the Oscar..and it WILL be her's next month.
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:27 AM   #36
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great for cate

was also hoping sally hawkins could somehow pull off an upset win in supporting. jennifer lawrence winning(maybe because she lost out to riva last year for best actress), might be a makeup win for losing last year in lead. i dont know, but things are looking scary in that category.
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