“There’s only so many traumas a person can withstand until they take to the streets and start screaming.”
You know what they always say: money can’t buy happiness. But oh is it easy to fall into the delusion that it can (who can deny nice getaways to the Hamptons every so often, and the occasional designer bag?). That’s exactly the mindset of Jasmine (Cate Blanchett), who was living that lavish New York City high rise life, up until a series of misfortunes left her with no choice but to move back in with her estranged sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) in San Francisco—when her “big shot” real estate agent husband Hal (Alec Baldwin) turned out to be a fraud.
Jasmine is undoubtedly broken from the humiliating years of all her close friends knowing the whole time Hal had been cheating on her with many variations of women, on top of the fraudulent accounts that stripped them of their, well, everything. And since she has developed some behavioral tendencies and chemical dependencies (lots of vodka and Xanax) that literally leave her unconsciously talking to herself in the streets like the crazy person she has become. And who’s to blame her?
There is some hostility between the two sisters—both adopted—from when Ginger’s ex Augie (Andrew Dice Clay), makes an “investment” of his lottery winnings with Hal that, as you might have guessed, eventually get taken by the government, making things pretty awkward. But Ginger, being the happy-go-lucky carefree woman she is, forgives Jasmine for the past and welcomes her home. But the delusion of Jasmine and her former lifestyle hasn’t really left her set of “standards” quite yet, and she is constantly belittling Ginger for her taste in men (or anyone whose relationship is based on something other than status and money, for that matter)—causing some drama with Ginger’s latest beau Chili (Bobby Cannavale).
Despite Jasmine’s crazy outlook on life, Ginger and her do “bond” a few times, once more significantly at a party by the Bay where the two meet who they think are the men who will sweep them off their feet: Al (Louis CK) and Dwight (Peter Sarsgaard). Or at least that’s what Jasmine has convinced them both of thinking, but as you learn in all Woody films, this false hope is again interrupted by the harsher realities of life.
Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine is a typical Woody film: simple yet elegant, with a jazzy soundtrack accompanying a funny story whose characters make the entire film. Blanchett’s performance is worth every penny, and you will fall in love with her helpless and crazy demeanor. Oh, and a nice plus to see Sarsgaard play something other than a serial killer or villain!
(photo via Patheos)