New Woody Allen movie! I live for these, you guys. Mr. Betty and I went to the Alamo Drafthouse last week and settled in with popcorn and excitement for Blue Jasmine. Major anticipation. Like, Lord of the Rings anticipation. The theater was full and we may have been the youngest people there. Does my generation not care about Woody Allen? Or was it just because we chose an early show? Doesn’t matter.
This. Movie. Is FANTASTIC. My personal favorite since Vicky Christina Barcelona. Obviously the writing is always good in all of Woody’s movies, so it’s often the cast that makes it or breaks it. And this is pretty much my dream cast.
Cate Blanchett is simply brilliant. Her cool radiance is was sheer perfection as the neurotic, uptight, Xanax-popping Jasmine. I was not familiar with actress Sally Hawkins who played Jasmine’s sister Ginger, but I loved her. And was shocked to learn she is British. Like Blanchett, there was no trace of international accent. She genuinely seemed like a New Yorker transplanted in San Francisco.
It’s been awhile since Woody Allen has had a movie set in the US. San Francisco made for a lovely backdrop with a few cityscapes, but mostly relying on panoramic views of the sparkling bay. Like all of his movies, it’s a world we’d like to live in where money and fashion are just a given (just like the extramarital affairs.)
I was excited to that two of my favorite actors appeared in this one: Bobby Cannavale and Peter Sarsgaard. Cannavale has a knack for stealing whatever scene he’s in and this was no exception. Peter Sarsgaard’s understated Dwight makes me want to watch Shattered Glass right now. Why are we not talking about Peter Sarsgaard more? I think he’s a brilliant character actor.
Smaller roles from Louis CK, Andrew Dice Clay and
Max Casella Vinnie Delpino satisfied the NYC craving you feel when watching a Woody Allen flick. And of course, the current Mr. New York, Alec Baldwin, who looked fantastic. Marrying a young yoga instructor has really done him well. They were all superb.
The story lines bounce between love and betrayal, rich and working class struggles, and of course, infidelity. As always, Woody’s stories are enjoyable and not overly complicated. He doesn’t go crazy with tons of plot twists or surprises; the dialogue and common themes are relatable (maybe) and stand on their own for their intelligent wit. How he is cranking these out every year is mind boggling, but I’m glad they keep coming. Woody remains one of my very favorite directors, writers, and creative geniuses. Our world is better for his existence.
Did you see Blue Jasmine? What did you think?