Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Woody Allen|
|Written by||Woody Allen|
|Music by||Christopher Lennertz|
|Editing by||Alisa Lepselter|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Classics|
|Running time||98 minutes|
|Box office||$74.9 million|
Blue Jasmine is a 2013 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Woody Allen. It tells the story of a rich Manhattan socialite falling into destitute poverty and homelessness. It was released on July 26, 2013 in New York and Los Angeles. The UK release of the film was on September 27. Critics have compared the film to A Streetcar Named Desire.
Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) disembarks in San Francisco from a flight that took her away from her old life in New York and arrives at her adopted sister's cluttered apartment in a poor part of the city. The woman who was sitting next to her on the flight says that she had been talking to herself. Jasmine's sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins) is shocked to learn that Jasmine claims that she has no money and yet travelled first class.
Jasmine reflects on the life that she has lost and makes a vague attempt to rebuild her life in San Francisco. In flashbacks, she remembers her past life in New York with her husband, Hal (Alec Baldwin), a wealthy businessman.
Ginger and her working class husband, Augie, (Andrew Dice Clay), had visited New York, their first visit after many years. Jasmine and Hal had had them whisked off in a limousine to tour the city and let them stay in the Marriott hotel in order to avoid spending any time with them. When they announced that they had won $200,000 in the lottery and that Augie intended to start a construction business, Jasmine offered Hal's help in investing the money instead. While touring New York, Ginger saw Hal kiss another woman. The woman later appeared at Jasmine's birthday party and it became clear that Hal was cheating on Jasmine.
It is later revealed that Hal swindled the money Ginger and Augie had given him. Ginger does not blame Jasmine, but Augie resents her. We also learn that Hal committed suicide after being sent to prison for fraud, while Ginger divorced Augie and began dating a mechanic called Chili (Bobby Cannavale).
Jasmine fancies the idea of becoming an interior designer and decides that she needs an online class, but first has to take a class as she has no computer skills. In order to afford the class, she takes on a job with a dentist, Dr. Flicker (Michael Stuhlbarg), who pesters her with unwanted sexual advances. He eventually tries to force himself on her, but she fights him off and quits the job.
Jasmine's life improves when, at a party, she meets a wealthy widower called Dwight (Peter Sarsgaard), who aspires to become a congressman. Ginger, influenced by Jasmine's snide remarks about Chili, has an affair with Al (Louis C.K.), whom she meets at the same party. Jasmine seems on a path to happiness with Dwight, who shares her tastes. Jasmine lies to him about her past life, saying that her husband was a doctor who died of a heart attack. After a whirlwind romance, Dwight is about to buy an engagement ring for Jasmine when Augie happens to meet them on the street and rails at her over what Hal did to him. Augie also tells Jasmine that her estranged stepson, Danny (Alden Ehrenreich), is living and working nearby in Oakland. Dwight is upset that Jasmine lied to him, and calls off their engagement. Jasmine asks to get out of the car and he leaves her by the side of the road. Jasmine goes to see Danny, but he tells her that he knows what she did and never wants to see her again.
In a flashback, we see Jasmine finally learning of Hal's many affairs throughout their marriage and confronting him. Hal wants to leave her for another woman. In a moment of blind rage, she called the FBI and informs them about Hal's fraudulent business dealings; this leads to his arrest.
Jasmine returns to her sister's apartment and is put out by seeing Ginger back with Chili; she had reunited with him after learning that Al was married. Jasmine and Chili needle each other and she is furious that Ginger takes his side. Jasmine lies to Ginger and claims that she is going to marry Dwight, and moves out immediately.
The film ends with Jasmine sitting alone on a park bench, talking to herself about her troubles.
- Cate Blanchett as Jeanette "Jasmine" Francis
- Alec Baldwin as Harold "Hal" Francis
- Sally Hawkins as Ginger, Jasmine's sister
- Bobby Cannavale as Chili, Ginger's fiancé and an auto mechanic
- Louis C.K. as Al, Ginger's lover
- Andrew Dice Clay as Augie, Ginger's ex-husband
- Peter Sarsgaard as Dwight Westlake, wealthy diplomat and aspiring politician
- Michael Stuhlbarg as Dr. Flicker
- Tammy Blanchard as Jane
- Max Casella as Eddie
- Alden Ehrenreich as Danny Francis, Hal's son
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 picture 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 he objected to anti-tobacco ads that the Indian government requires cinemas to play before and during movies that feature scenes with characters smoking."
The film received a slow rollout, modeled after the release of Midnight in Paris; it grossed an estimated $612,767 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".
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 8.1 out of 10, based on 182 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.
The film has been compared by several critics to the Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire, which shares a very similar plot and characters, as well as featuring cast members who have previously been associated with the play. (Baldwin had previously 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.) Critics have stated that they believe the film is directly inspired by or based on the play, or is else an update of it.
Blue Jasmine is expected to be released on DVD on January 20, 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