“Some people, they don’t put things behind so easily.”
Woody Allen movies usually are either hit or miss for me. But I majorly enjoyed his latest feature Blue Jasmine, even if it was for the particularly stellar performance of one Cate Blanchett.
Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) lived a glamorous life as a socialite wife of a wealthy businessman (Alec Baldwin). She spends her day walking the streets of New York in her designer heels to have fancy brunches or decadent galas and fundraisers among the bourgeois. She spend her downtime lounging in their sun drenched patio of her lavish house. When his husband were imprisoned for swindling and other criminal activities, she’s uprooted from her lush cocoon. Forcing her to move to San Francisco to live in a cluttered apartment with her sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins) and her two boys. She suddenly found herself working menial job and having to tolerate her sister’s obnoxious boyfriend and his friends.
The opening scene show Jasmine babbling to a complete stranger, an old lady who were forced to listen to her out of politeness or just from being nice. I immediately found myself in the shoes of that lady. For the rest of the film i was that stranger who cringed at and for Jasmine for all the things that she said and do. But without realizing it i can empathize to Jasmine. Sure we don’t share the same wardrobe but her struggle to live up to her own ideal is something that is very human and should be very relatable to everyone. She’s not really need to be coddled, but sometimes she’s so fond of shortcuts and very easily discouraged when she ran into a wall (like her dream of being an interior decorator was hindered by her lack of aptitude for computers).
I really love the wardrobe choices for this film. They are extremely important, especially for Jasmine character. The classic Chanel jacket and pearls (along with her Marc Jacobs coat, Hermès birkin bag and the Louis Vuitton suitcase) was the last thread that connects her to her former glory. Something she refuses to let go and become somewhat of a security blanket or a cocoon to protects herself in. My heat break as her carefully put together look later dissolve into a limp, tear-drenched, sweated mess. Blanchett is a tour de force of the film, leaving her fellow the supporting actors in the background, existing merely as sounding board for her character. It is fascinating to see her character literally unravel as the non-linear storyline begin to show us the culminating points of her life.
A character driven film, Blue Jasmine is a heartbreaking portrait of a women. Given the nature of the film it could easily be one of those depressing films. Yet Allen brilliantly treated it with satire and humour, giving it lightness that made us unconsciously sympathetic towards Jasmine, whether she deserve it or not is another matter. A must watch, even just for Blanchett alone.
BLUE JASMINE (2013)
GENRE Drama, Comedy
DIRECTOR Woody Allen | PRODUCER Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum, Edward Walson | WRITER Woody Allen | MUSIC Christopher Lennertz | CINEMATOGRAPHER Javier Aguirresarobe | EDITOR Alisa Lepselter | STUDIO Gravier Productions | DISTRIBUTOR Sony Pictures Classic | COUNTRY United States | RUNNING TIME 98 minutes | BUDGET $18 Million | RATING PG-13 for mature thematic material, language and sexual content | RELEASE August 23, 2013 (US)
STARRING Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Bobby Cannavale, Sally Hawkins, Louis C. K, Peter Sarsgaard, Andrew Dice Clay, Alden Ehrenreich, Michael Stuhlbarg
DID YOU KNOW? The costume designer, Suzy Benzinger, were only given a $35, 000 budget for this film. Jasmine’s Hermès bag alone was worth more than that, Jasmine’s wardrobe for the film mostly loaned from various designers..Woody Allend did not partake too much in creating Jasmine’s look but he really hoped for a Chanel jacket for her. Of course, Karl Lagerfeld sent two, with a note saying “for Cate, I’d do anything”.