Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen, 2013)

What's it about? Wealthy socialite New Yorker Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) finds her life in tatters after her husband is arrested for fraud. In an effort to pull herself together, she moves to San Francisco to stay with her estranged sister (Sally Hawkins), but is clearly not happy about it.

Is it any good? It is of course obligatory for all reviews of each new Allen film to use the words 'return to form'. In this case, however, they are probably justified. If Midnight in Paris was Allen's 'return to form' for his early, funny ones, then this can be considered his 'return to form' for his later serious ones. It's a well-assembled piece, moving smoothly back and forward in time to reveal just how Jasmine ended up in her current situation. Jasmine is a complex creature; self-pitying, self-obsessed, self-delusional and self-loathing, a mixture of traits which is magnificently conveyed by Blanchett in a deserved Oscar-winning performance. (I particularly liked her impersonation of  Rowley Birkin QC during that mumbling, verr, verr drunk final scene.). The other actors, including an excellent Hawkins, are good in supporting roles, but Blanchett simply dominates the entire piece. The rave reviews for her performance don't quite extend to the overall film, which doesn't quite live up to the standards of Allen's Husbands and Wives or Crimes and Misdemeanors, nor is it as good as the obvious source inspiration A Streetcar Named Desire. However, along with Midnight in Paris, it does indicate a return to form for Allen. (that's enough use of return to form now - Ed)

Anything else I should know? There's not a lot of jokes here, so here's a little light-hearted aside from Allen - the famous Moose routine.

What does the Fonz think? Very good, but more jokes next time Woody - the aliens demand it

Buy it on Amazon

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