Who is in it?
Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins, Louis CK, Bobby Canavale, Peter Saarsgard, Alec Baldwin – it’s a pretty intimate cast for a Woody Allen movie.
What is it about?
Once wealthy Upper East Side society wife Jasmine goes to live with her more modest living sister in San Fransisco and the story of her financial and psychological demise unfolds.
Why did I want to watch it?
I love Cate Blanchett and enjoyed Midnight In Paris the preceding Woody Allen film, so I thought this was worth a try.
Did I like it?
Yes, I was entertained for a couple of hours, but I think people’s reactions to the character of Jasmine will affect their enjoyment. The stark contrast between Jasmine’s life of luxury and the life she is forced to lead makes her somewhat sympathetic, especially her relationship with her horrible boss at the job she takes. That said the woman is the living embodiment of the idle rich stereotype so there is still some ground to be made up. It’s clear she is completely unsuited to the real world and that breeds for some very dark comedy. The yin/yang is highlighted further by the antics of her fun loving, carefree sister Ginger and the men in her life. Any troubles she has are definitely not helped by the arrival of Jasmine back in her life.
Should you watch it?
It’s good but not unmissable. Cate Blanchett does damaged socialite very well, and the cast are all good value. In particular Blanchett’s portrayal of mania and mental instability seemed pretty realistic.
At some point I’ll have to compile an Allenometer based on how neurotic the central characters are and how kooky the story is – this is an enjoyable film but more woody allen than WOODY ALLEN!
Other films it reminds me of:
I remember coming out of Somewhere by Sophia Coppola feeling like I enjoyed the film but the central character was too flawed to like. I was slightly more emotionally invested in Jasmine and felt a little sorry for her, and a little haunted by how she would end up.
Watch this instead/as well/before/after:
This is on my Oscars bait list (Best Actress & Screenplay certainly). Since Sandra Bullock is the other current Best Actress frontrunner, I will be watching Gravity to compare performances.