October 3, 2013
Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen, 2013). Oddly over-rated and still a long way from remotely cinematic (thinking of Gordon Willis, Annie Hall and Manhattan). For all its loose relevance to the damage done by the global financial crisis, this is still predicated on a dated and snobbish view from the top of the social ladder downwards – from Allen’s upper-middle class social environment of affluence and casual entitlement (desperately longed for in the Ripley-ish Match Point and taken as the norm in the lazy, amiable Midnight in Paris) into the imagined proletarian wastelands where sub-literate jerks Allen has never met watch boxing and guzzle beer. Cate Blanchett as Jasmine/Blanche DuBois seems artificial and exaggerated in all but one, important scene, like a stage performance transplanted wholesale (which it more or less is). Yes, Andrew “Dice” Clay is a good idea but Peter Sarsgaard is a bad one.