Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Movies: Blue Jasmine

(Drivebycuriosity) - Sometimes there is just a thin line between comedy and tragedy, said once W.C. Fields, an American comedian, actor & writer (wikipedia). Many novelists, playwrights and movie makers played with this topic. The movie "Blue Jasmine", Woody Allen´s newest opus, is a felicitous example for this genre (imdb).

The master tells the story of "Jasmine" who´s world had fallen apart. The sophisticated and highly spoiled lady, who had been a part of Manhattan´s elitist society, is now destitute. She tries to kickstart a new existence with the help of her step sister who lives in San Francisco´s red neck environment.

The movie is a dark tale about conflicting philosophies of life,  mental problems, self-deception & self-destruction. It seems that Woody Allan, who is a product of New York City himself, was reckoning with Manhattan´s culture of blowhards and praised instead the common people of the West Coast.  "Blue Jasmine" also is a homage to Polanski´s "Repulsion" (1965, Catherine Deneuve ) and "Falling Down" (1993, Michael Douglas). In spite of the dark topic the film is shot in friendly colors and told in a blitheful style with hilarious scenes.

Cate Blanchett as "Jasmine" proves again why the she is one of Hollywood´s goddesses. It`s fascinating how she impersonated this human wreck with a high attitude. Pink Floyd´s "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" (devoted to their late founding member Syd Barrett) could have been written especially for this character.

Sally Hawkins, as the easy going and cheery step-sister "Ginger", played the earthbound antagonist. The centrifugal forces of this dissimilar relationship are one of the main drivers of the movie.

If there is any Academy Award for the most hilarious and sleazy hair design, Bobby Cannavale should easily earn it. His character as Ginger`s red neck boyfriend seems to shower with olive oil.
The teddy bear like Alec Baldwin convinces as Jasmine´s ex-husband and con-artist, a replica of "Bernie" Madoff.

"Blue Jasmin" is very dark chocolate for cineasts. Highly recommended!

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