Blue Jasmine - 7 stars out of 10
Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” was missing one very important thing: Woody Allen! With the exception of “Midnight in Paris,” Woody’s films are always better with him in a major role because nobody can deliver his unique brand of humor quite like him. But that’s where the film also missed its mark – it simply did not feel like a Woody film. I don’t mean to put him in a box, but you wouldn’t want to go see children’s film written and directed by Scorsese. I always expect to be amused when I watch a Woody film and this gave me a false expectation. That being said, “Blue Jasmine” was an enjoyable film. Cate Blanchett is the poster child (literally) with her strong acting performance, tapping into a wide variety of emotions and levels of sanity. Her acting is so believable that you will find yourself forgetting that you are watching a movie. I don’t believe that she’ll win an Oscar but I’d like to watch this film again just to analyze her performance. Sally Hawkins (also nominated for an Oscar) was probably my favorite part of this film, spunky and content with her place in middle-class America. Unlike most Woody scripts that make light of dramatic events with spontaneous (and often improvised) comical dialogue, this film is all drama with little relief. Some have compared it to “A Streetcar Named Desire” but that story is so beloved (especially by me) that I can’t mention the two in the same sentence. “Blue Jasmine” is worth watching for the performances by its two leading ladies, but realize that it is a drama and that you shouldn’t be waiting for Woody Allen to pop out just in time to ease the tension.