Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Woody Allen|
|Written by||Woody Allen|
|Edited by||Alisa Lepselter|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Classics|
|Running time||98 minutes|
|Box office||$97.5 million|
Blue Jasmine is a 2013 American black comedy drama film written and directed by Woody Allen. It tells the story of a rich Manhattan socialite (played by Cate Blanchett) falling into poverty and homelessness. The film was released on a limited basis on July 26, 2013, in New York and Los Angeles.
Blue Jasmine received praise from the critics, particularly for Blanchett's performance; additionally, they compared the film to Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar Named Desire. It was a box office success, earning $97.5 million worldwide against a budget of $18 million. Blanchett won the Academy Award for Best Actress, and the film received two more nominations—Best Supporting Actress for Sally Hawkins, and Original Screenplay for Allen. Blanchett also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, and the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) disembarks in San Francisco after a flight from New York. A passenger who had been sitting next to her on the flight tells her husband that Jasmine had been talking to herself the whole way. Jasmine takes a taxi to her sister Ginger's (Sally Hawkins) apartment, where Ginger is shocked to learn that Jasmine travelled first class despite claiming to be broke.
Jasmine reflects on the life that she has lost and tries to start a new one, but she is constantly drawn back into her expensive habits. In flashbacks, she remembers her past life in New York with her husband Hal (Alec Baldwin), a wealthy businessman.
Some years previously, Ginger and her working-class husband Augie (Andrew Dice Clay) visited New York, their first time there in many years. Jasmine provides a car and driver for them to tour the city and pays for a stay in a hotel to avoid spending any time with them. Ginger announces they have won $200,000 in the lottery that Augie intends to use to start a construction business, but Jasmine offers Hal's help in investing the money instead. While touring New York, Ginger sees Hal kiss another woman. The woman later appears at Jasmine's birthday party. Ginger debates whether to say anything to Jasmine; but she decides to stay quiet, hoping to spare her sister's marriage.
It is revealed that Hal is a fraudster and has lost a lot of money for many investors, including the money Ginger and Augie had given him to invest. Ginger defends Jasmine, but Augie blames her for ruining his life. Hal commits suicide after being sent to prison for fraud. Ginger divorces Augie and begins dating a mechanic called Chili (Bobby Cannavale). Jasmine, meanwhile, suffers a nervous breakdown and is briefly hospitalized before coming to San Francisco.
Jasmine considers becoming an interior designer. She needs to take an online class but has no computer skills. She takes a job with a dentist (Michael Stuhlbarg), who pesters her with unwanted sexual advances. She fights him off and quits.
Jasmine's situation improves when she meets a wealthy widower, Dwight (Peter Sarsgaard), at a party. Dwight is a diplomat who aspires to become a Congressman. Ginger begins a romance with Al (Louis C.K.), whom she meets at the same party. She breaks up with Chili, who begs her not to leave him. Eventually, however, she finds out that Al is married and reunites with Chili.
Jasmine lies about her past life, telling Dwight her husband was a surgeon who died of a heart attack. Dwight is about to buy her an engagement ring when they bump into Augie outside the jewelery store. Augie rails at Jasmine about what Hal did to Ginger and him. Augie also reveals that Jasmine's estranged stepson, Danny (Alden Ehrenreich), is living nearby in Oakland. A shocked Dwight calls off their engagement. Jasmine goes to Oakland and finds Danny, who tells Jasmine he never wants to see her again.
In a flashback, it is seen how Jasmine finally learned of Hal's many affairs and then confronted him. Hearing that Hal wants to leave her for a teenage au pair, Jasmine, in a moment of blind rage, calls the FBI to inform the authorities of Hal's fraudulent business dealings. This leads to his arrest.
Jasmine returns to her sister's apartment and finds Ginger back with Chili. Jasmine and Chili needle each other, and Jasmine is furious when Ginger takes his side. Jasmine lies to Ginger and claims she is going to marry Dwight and moves out. In the final scene, Jasmine sits on a park bench, talking to herself about her troubles.
- Alec Baldwin as Hal Francis, Jasmine's late husband
- Cate Blanchett as Jeanette "Jasmine" Francis
- Louis C.K. as Al, Ginger's lover
- Bobby Cannavale as Chili, Ginger's fiancé
- Andrew Dice Clay as Augie, Ginger's ex-husband
- Sally Hawkins as Ginger, Jasmine's sister
- Peter Sarsgaard as Dwight Westlake, Jasmine's fiancé
- Michael Stuhlbarg as Dr. Flicker, the dentist
- Tammy Blanchard as Jane, Jasmine's friend
- Max Casella as Eddie, Chili's friend
- Alden Ehrenreich as Danny Francis, Jasmine's stepson
In late March 2012, it was announced that Cate Blanchett was being considered for the lead role. This was later confirmed along with the rest of the principal cast in June 2012. In preparation for her role, Blanchett explained, "I did a lot of people watching. I drank my fair share of rosé. In the end I had to play the anti-heroine that Woody's written, but of course I thought about the Madoff scandal, because that's the holocaust of the financial crisis. And there are many, many women like that. I followed them like everybody else did, but as an actress you go back and you're slightly more forensic about those relationships."
The film was filmed in 2012 in New York City and San Francisco. Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum, and Edward Walson served as the film's producers. Sony Pictures Classics distributed the film, marking the sixth collaboration between the label and Allen.
Woody Allen refused to release Blue Jasmine in India because that country requires a blurb to be inserted at the bottom of any scenes during which a character is smoking. This is in addition to health warnings that are required to be shown at the beginning and end of the film.
The film received a slow rollout, modeled after the release of Midnight in Paris; it was estimated to have grossed over $600,000 in its first three days, which took place at six theaters in Los Angeles and New York City. It was Allen's "best-ever opening per-screen average" and the year's highest per-screen average, beating Spring Breakers ' "impressive debut on three screens". The film grossed $33 million in the U.S. and $62 million in the rest of the world, resulting in a worldwide gross of $95 million.
Early reviews suggested the film would be rated very highly among Allen's recent offerings, and praised Blanchett's performance as one of her strongest, if not the best of her career: David Denby of The New Yorker stated that "in all, this is the strongest, most resonant movie Woody Allen has made in years". Mick LaSalle, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote that "Blanchett in Blue Jasmine is beyond brilliant, beyond analysis. This is jaw-dropping work, what we go to the movies hoping to see, and we do. Every few years." Andrew Dice Clay's performance was also critically praised in the film.
Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 91%, with an average rating of 8 out of 10, based on 194 reviews. The film is considered a "Certified Fresh", with the site's consensus being "Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine finds the director in peak late-period form—and benefiting from a superb cast led by Cate Blanchett." On Metacritic, the film received a score of 78/100 based on 47 reviews.
Critics have stated that they believe the film is Allen's take, tribute or version of the Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire as it shares a very similar plot and characters. It also features cast members who have previously been associated with the play: Baldwin played the role of Stanley Kowalski on stage in 1992 and in the 1995 adaptation of the play, while Blanchett played the leading role of Blanche DuBois in the Australian production of the play staged by the Sydney Theatre Company in 2008. Other critics and cultural commentators argued that the story of Jasmine as a "shrill narcissist falling apart" and "in a crisis of self-flagellation after living in denial for years" was modeled on his former companion, Mia Farrow, and that the film is a "response" to their high-profile and acrimonious break-up.
Blue Jasmine was released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 21, 2014.
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- Official website
- Blue Jasmine at the Internet Movie Database
- Blue Jasmine at Box Office Mojo
- Blue Jasmine at Rotten Tomatoes
- Blue Jasmine at Metacritic
- Blue Jasmine filming locations at Movieloci.com