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Film review: Blue Jasmine

On September 8, 2013

By Sophia Whitfield

Cate Blanchett shines in Woody Allenís homage to Tennessee Williams†A Streetcar Named Desire. There is much of Williamsí Blanche DuBois in Jasmine.

New York socialite Jasmine moves into her sister Gingerís working class apartment in San Francisco after her marriage falls apart. Behind her is a life of leisure where Jasmine turned a blind eye to her husbandís behaviour and business in exchange for an affluent lifestyle.

Self centred and propped up by alcohol and anti-depressants she arrives on her sisterís doorstep with her Louis Vuitton luggage which she promptly drops in the tiny living room, declaring herself broke despite the luggage and the first class ticket she readily arrived on. Ginger (Sally Hawkins) has separated from her husband Augie (Andrew Dice Clay) since she last saw Jasmine and has since been in a relationship with Chili (Bobby Cannavale). Jasmine lets her disapproval of both men be known as she attempts to get her life together in the cramped surroundings of Gingerís apartment.

As Jasmine teeters on the edge of sanity, Ginger advises her that she needs a job and could attempt to be an interior designer as she has a definite aptitude for design, but before she can enrol in an online course she needs to learn to operate a computer.† Whilst studying Jasmine takes a job as a receptionist in a dental surgery where she catches the eye of Dr. Flicker (Michael Stuhlbarg).

Feeling the constant disapproval of her sister Ginger switches her affections to Al (Louis C.K.), a sound engineer she met through Jasmine at a party. †Jasmine is thrown a lifeline when she meets Dwight (Peter Sarsgaard) who is fascinated by her style and poise, perfect requirements for a diplomatís wife.

As Jasmine tries to move on with her life, she flashes back to her decadent lifestyle in New York with her corrupt banker husband Hal (Alec Baldwin) and his son Danny. Now broken by her own actions she struggles to rebuild any semblance of a life.

Blanchett is extraordinary on screen as the downtrodden self indulgent socialite. She is well supported by Sally Hawkins who centres Allenís tale. Alec Baldwin is cast perfectly as the smooth talking corrupt businessman. Both Bobby Cannavale and Andrew Dice Clay give strong performances as Gingerís partners convincingly opening up the gap between Jasmineís former social circle and her sisterís working class life.

Woody Allen has more than 40 films to his credit, Blue Jasmine will continue to be talked about for quite some time.

Blue Jasmine will be released in Australian cinemas on Thursday September 12.

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