Blue Jasmine

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Blue Jasmine
An elegant blonde blue eyed woman, sunglasses on her head, looking to the left.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Woody Allen
Produced by
Written by Woody Allen
Starring
Music by Christopher Lennertz
Cinematography Javier Aguirresarobe
Edited by Alisa Lepselter
Production
  company
Gravier Productions
Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics
Release date(s)
  • July 23, 2013 (2013-07-23) (New York City premiere)
  • August 23, 2013 (2013-08-23) (United States)
Running time 98 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $18 million[2]
Box office $97.5 million[3]

Blue Jasmine is a 2013 American drama film written and directed by Woody Allen.[4][5][6] It tells the story of a rich Manhattan socialite (played by Cate Blanchett) falling into poverty and homelessness. It was released on July 26, 2013, in New York and Los Angeles.[7]

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.[8][9] It was a box office success, earning $97.5 million worldwide against a budget of $18 million.[2][3] 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.

Plot[edit]

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 her constantly. 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 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 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 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, we see 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.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

In late March 2012, it was announced that Cate Blanchett was being considered for the lead role.[10] This was later confirmed along with the rest of the principal cast in June 2012.[11] 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."[12]

Filming of Blue Jasmine in San Francisco, August 22, 2012

The film was filmed in 2012 in New York City and San Francisco.[6] Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum, and Edward Walson served as the film's producers.[13] Sony Pictures Classics distributed the film, marking the sixth collaboration between the label and Allen.[14]

Release[edit]

Blue Jasmine had a limited release at six theaters in Los Angeles and New York City on July 26, 2013, and expanded wide on August 23, 2013.[15]

Woody Allen refused to release Blue Jasmine in India because he objected to anti-tobacco ads that the Indian government requires cinemas to play before and during movies that feature scenes with characters smoking.[16]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

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.[15] 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".[15] 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.[3]

Critical response[edit]

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".[17] 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."[18] Andrew Dice Clay's performance was also critically praised in the film.[19]

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."[20] On Metacritic, the film received a score of 78/100 based on 47 reviews.[21]

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.[8][9] 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.[22] 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.[23][24]

Home media[edit]

Blue Jasmine was released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 21, 2014.

Accolades[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BLUE JASMINE (12A)". Warner Bros. British Board of Film Classification. August 23, 2013. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Block, Alex (November 18, 2013). "Woody Allen in San Francisco: The Making of 'Blue Jasmine'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Blue Jasmine". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 12, 2014. 
  4. ^ Burkeman, Oliver (September 13, 2012). "Woody Allen: 'To have been a lead character in a juicy scandal doesn't bother me'". The Guardian (London). Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  5. ^ Greene, Andy (December 28, 2012). "Andrew Dice Clay's Surprising Comeback and Why He Won't Clean Up His Act". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Itzkoff, Dave (January 8, 2013). "Woody Allen Names His New Movie ‘Blue Jasmine’". The New York Times. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  7. ^ Busis, Hillary (February 7, 2013). "'Before Midnight,' latest from Woody Allen & Pedro Almodovar get release dates". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 9, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Movie Review: Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine Is Perhaps His Cruelest-Ever Film". Vanity Fair. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Blue Jasmine: Woody Allen's excellent homage to A Streetcar Named Desire". Tri-city Herald. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  10. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (March 29, 2012). "Woody Allen Eyes Cate Blanchett, Bradley Cooper For New Film". Deadline.com. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  11. ^ McNary, Dave (June 4, 2012). "Louis C.K., Dice Clay in Woody Allen pic". Variety. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  12. ^ Pond, Steve (July 26, 2013). "How Cate Blanchett prepared to play a boozer in Woody Allen's 'Blue Jasmine'". The Wrap. MSN Entertainment. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  13. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (January 8, 2013). "Sony Pictures Classics Nabs Woody Allen’s 'Blue Jasmine'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine". Sony Pictures. January 8, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c Stewart, Andrew. "Cate Blanchett dramedy expands wide Aug. 23". Variety. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Woody Allen stops "Blue Jasmine" India release because of anti-tobacco ads–India Insight". Reuters. 
  17. ^ Denby, David (July 29, 2013). "Timely Projects". The New Yorker. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  18. ^ LaSalle, Mick (August 2, 2013). "'Blue Jasmine' review: Allen, Blanchett dazzle". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 28, 2013. 
  19. ^ Huver, Scott (July 30, 2013). "Andrew Dice Clay: A Reinvention in 'Blue'". NBC. 
  20. ^ "Blue Jasmine (2013)". Flixster, Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Blue Jasmine Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved August 8, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Blanchett injured in stage fight". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  23. ^ "Blue Jasmine: It's about Mia Farrow!". The L Magazine. 
  24. ^ Liz Smith (October 16, 2013). "Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine -- Blanche DuBois or... Mia Farrow?". The Huffington Post. 

External links[edit]