Blue Jasmine

If Cate Blanchett isn't short-listed for this year's Best Actress at the Oscars, there is no justice. As a matter of fact, in this assembly of award-winning actors directed by the perennial Woody Allen, there is not one weak performance.

I sat in the theater marveling at the talent and skill on display. Blanchett (from Australia) and Hawkins (from the U.K.) play American sisters without a hint of accent. Furthermore, no one in this film had to do that irritating Woody Allen stammer. This is one of Allen's most accessible films since "Match Point."

Look at this cast:
  • Cate Blanchett ("Hanna") is the pampered wife of an extremely successful New York businessman, her life suffers a cataclysmic shock and she loses touch with reality, so she seeks shelter with her divorced sister. (Blanchett has won an Oscar among many other honors and added 2014 Best Actress for this one.)
  • Alec Baldwin ("Rock of Ages") is her husband, suave, handsome and (we can tell) smarmy. Baldwin relishes roles like this. (He has won numerous Emmys.)
  • Sally Hawkins ("Made in Dagenham") is her sister, a single parent in a tiny walk-up, but willing to try to help. (She has won a Golden Globe.)
  • Bobby Cannavale ("Win Win") plays another ebullient character, outspoken, honest and very appealing. (He has won an Emmy.)
  • Andrew Dice Clay ("Entourage") is our gal's former brother-in-law; he has a way of condensing all of her faults into three statements. (He has won a Razzie(!)
  • Peter Sarsgaard ("An Education") walks into our gal's life just in the nick of time! (He has won BSFC Award.)
This excellently crafted PG-13 script slowly unveils events in Jasmine's past. We couldn't help but hear the mature-man/teenage-lover defense with Mr. Allen's notorious past in mind, and some of the relationships evoked echoes of Tennessee Williams' "Streetcar..." In fact, one talented reviewed described it as "Blanche Dubois meets Ruth Madoff." (I wish I had said that!)

Between Allen and Blanchett, they have created a realistic and relatable melt-down! I love it when there are no bad guys or good guys, just people with human failings and various levels of desperation, trying to get by.
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