in Review

Blue Jasmine

It was interesting to see Blue Jasmine in the summer of hating on whistleblowers, because this certainly is a challenging portrayal of how it takes institutions, not individuals, to change the world. The movie is the story of Jasmine (Cate Blanchett), who moves to live with his sister in San Francisco after having a breakdown. Her husband, Hal (Alec Baldwin), was exposed as a total corporate fuck, and, after losing everything, committed suicide in prison. His exposure hurt a lot of people, including Jasmine’s aforementioned sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins) and her then-husband Augie (Andrew Dice Clay), but it is Jasmine who struggles the most to keep going.

The movie never makes it exactly clear what Hal was doing, director Woody Allen basically just tells us it’s illegal. I’m not even sure that Hal screwed over Ginger and Augie, or if it was his being caught that was their undoing. And sure, things weren’t idyllic before and Hal’s a pretty scummy guy, but things seem to be tangibly worse for everyone involved since, well, justice was served. Jasmine becomes a burden on everyone in her life, with everything that defined her taken away, she’s unable to move on at all.

It’s Cate Blanchett’s performance that really makes Blue Jasmine a movie to see, but I’ve really been taken with this serious, cynical Woody Allen. I haven’t seen much outside of his romantic comedy work, and was surprised that he would tell a story that was so damn dark. I mean, Louis C.K. is in this, and he’s practically a villain! Lovable Louis! Andrew Dice Clay is basically the most unimpeachable character in the whole movie, and that’s bananas.