Blue Jasmine

[12a]

United States 2013, 98 mins
Director: Woody Allen
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Sally Hawkins

After his recent European excursions, the ever-prolific Woody Allen returns home with arguably a companion piece to such irony-tinged dramas as ALICE and HUSBANDS AND WIVES. Cate Blanchett shines as the eponymous Jasmine, whose glitzy New York life abruptly ends with her husband’s (Baldwin) suicide following the collapse of his financial empire.

Forced to move in with Ginger, her cheerfully working-class sister (Hawkins, MADE IN DAGENHAM), Jasmine rues the loss of her past life and grapples to find a solution to her economic woes, if not a way to recover her grandeur, preferably via marriage.

Self-obsessed and dismissive of Ginger and her immediate family, Jasmine somehow elicits our understanding and even sympathy. Much of the film’s power flows from Blanchett’s rivetingly nuanced performance, which is equally underpinned by one of Allen’s classic ensembles.

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