|An elegant blonde blue eyed woman, sunglasses on her head, looking to the left.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Woody Allen|
|Written by||Woody Allen|
|Music by||Christopher Lennertz|
|Edited by||Alisa Lepselter|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Classics|
|Box office||US$97.5 million|
Blue Jasmine is a 2013 American drama film written and directed by Woody Allen. The film tells the story of a rich Manhattan socialite (played by Cate Blanchett) who falls into hard times and has to move into her sister's (Sally Hawkins) apartment in San Francisco. The film had a limited release on July 26, 2013, in New York and Los Angeles, before expanding wide on August 23, 2013.
Blue Jasmine received praise from the critics, particularly for Blanchett's performance. Blanchett won the Academy Award for Best Actress, and Hawkins and Allen were nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Original Screenplay, respectively. Blanchett also won the Golden Globe Award, the SAG Award, and the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. The film was a box office success, earning US$97.5 million worldwide against a budget of US$18 million.
Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) disembarks in San Francisco after a first class flight from New York City. A passenger who had been sitting next to her on the flight tells her husband that Jasmine had been talking to her about her life the whole way. Jasmine takes a taxi to her sister Ginger's (Sally Hawkins) apartment, where Ginger is dismayed to learn that Jasmine traveled first class despite claiming to be broke.
Jasmine reflects often on the life that she has lost and yet tries to start a new one, but she is constantly sabotaged by her disdain for her sister's social world. In flashbacks, she remembers her past life in New York with her husband Hal (Alec Baldwin), a wealthy businessman.
Some years previously, Ginger and her working-class husband Augie (Andrew Dice Clay) visited New York, their first time there in many years. Jasmine provides a car and driver for them to tour the city and pays for a stay in a hotel to avoid spending any time with them. Ginger announces they have won US$200,000 in the lottery that Augie intends to use to start a construction business, but Jasmine offers Hal's help in investing the money instead. While touring New York, Ginger sees Hal kiss another woman. The woman later appears at Jasmine's birthday party. Ginger debates whether to say anything to Jasmine but decides to stay quiet, hoping to spare her sister's marriage.
After Hal is reported to the authorities as a major fraudster who has lost a lot of money raised from many investors, including Ginger and Augie, Ginger defends Jasmine, but Augie blames her for ruining his life. Hal commits suicide after being sent to prison for fraud. Ginger divorces Augie and begins dating a mechanic called Chili (Bobby Cannavale). Jasmine, meanwhile, suffers a nervous breakdown and is briefly hospitalized before coming to San Francisco. As a result, she has acquired a habit of talking to herself out loud, often reminiscing of more glamorous times.
Jasmine considers becoming an interior designer. She thinks she needs to take an online class, but, having no computer skills, she also thinks she needs to take a class in understanding computers. She grudgingly takes a job as a receptionist with a dentist (Michael Stuhlbarg), who pesters her with unwanted sexual advances. She fights him off and quits.
Jasmine's situation improves when she meets a wealthy widower, Dwight (Peter Sarsgaard), at a party. Dwight is a diplomat aspiring to become a Congressman. Ginger begins a romance with Al (Louis C.K.), whom she met at the same party. She breaks up with Chili, who begs her not to leave him. Eventually, however, she finds out that Al is married and reunites with Chili.
Jasmine lies about her past life to Dwight, telling him that her husband was a surgeon who died of a heart attack. Dwight is about to buy her an engagement ring when they bump into Augie outside the jewelry store. Augie rails at Jasmine about what Hal did to Ginger and him. Augie also reveals that Jasmine's estranged stepson, Danny (Alden Ehrenreich), is living nearby in Oakland and is now married. Dwight is outraged with Jasmine's dishonesty and calls off the engagement. Jasmine goes to Oakland and finds Danny, who tells Jasmine he never wants to see her again.
It is revealed how Jasmine finally learned of Hal's many affairs and confronted him. Hearing that Hal wants to leave her for a teenage au pair, Jasmine, in a moment of blind rage, calls the FBI to inform the authorities of Hal's fraudulent business dealings. This leads to his arrest.
Jasmine returns to her sister's apartment and finds Ginger back with Chili. Jasmine and Chili needle each other, and Jasmine is furious when Ginger takes his side. Jasmine lies to Ginger and claims she is going to marry Dwight and is moving out, and leaves the apartment saying she will "send for her luggage."
Finally, Jasmine walks down the street, talking to herself, then sits down at a park bench. She continues to talk out loud, speaking as though she has returned to her former lifestyle.
- Cate Blanchett as Jeanette "Jasmine" Francis
- Sally Hawkins as Ginger, Jasmine's sister
- Alec Baldwin as Hal Francis, Jasmine's husband
- Peter Sarsgaard as Dwight Westlake, Jasmine's fiancé
- Louis C.K. as Al Munsinger, Ginger's lover
- Andrew Dice Clay as Augie, Ginger's ex-husband
- Bobby Cannavale as Chili, Ginger's fiancé
- Michael Stuhlbarg as Dr. Flicker, the dentist Jasmine works for
- Alden Ehrenreich as Danny Francis, Jasmine's stepson
- Tammy Blanchard as Jane, Jasmine's friend in the Hamptons
- Max Casella as Eddie, Chili's friend
In late March 2012, it was announced that Cate Blanchett was being considered for the lead role. This was later confirmed along with the rest of the principal cast in June 2012. In preparation for her role, Blanchett explained, "I did a lot of people watching. I drank my fair share of rosé. In the end I had to play the anti-heroine that Woody's written, but of course I thought about the Madoff scandal, because that's the holocaust of the financial crisis. And there are many, many women like that. I followed them like everybody else did, but as an actress you go back and you're slightly more forensic about those relationships."
The film was shot in 2012 in New York City and San Francisco. Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum, and Edward Walson served as the film's producers. Sony Pictures Classics distributed the film, marking the sixth collaboration between the label and Allen.
Woody Allen refused to release Blue Jasmine in India because the country requires a blurb to be inserted at the bottom of any scenes during which a character is smoking. This is in addition to health warnings that are required to be shown at the beginning and end of the film.
The film received a slow rollout, modeled after the release of Midnight in Paris; it was estimated to have grossed over US$600,000 in its first three days, which took place at six theaters in Los Angeles and New York City. It was Allen's "best-ever opening per-screen average" and the year's highest per-screen average, beating Spring Breakers' "impressive debut on three screens". The film grossed US$33.4 million in the U.S. and US$64.1 million in the rest of the world, resulting in a worldwide gross of US$97.5 million.
Early reviews suggested the film would be rated very highly among Allen's recent offerings, and praised Blanchett's performance as one of her strongest, if not the best of her career: David Denby of The New Yorker stated that "in all, this is the strongest, most resonant movie Woody Allen has made in years". Mick LaSalle, writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote that "Blanchett in Blue Jasmine is beyond brilliant, beyond analysis. This is jaw-dropping work, what we go to the movies hoping to see, and we do. Every few years." Andrew Dice Clay's performance was also critically praised in the film.
Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 91%, with an average rating of 8 out of 10, based on 196 reviews. The film is considered a "Certified Fresh", with the site's consensus being "Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine finds the director in peak late-period form—and benefiting from a superb cast led by Cate Blanchett." On Metacritic, the film received a score of 78/100 based on 47 reviews.
Critics have stated that they believe the film is Allen's take, tribute or version of the Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire as it shares a very similar plot and characters. It also features cast members who have previously been associated with the play: Baldwin played the role of Stanley Kowalski on stage in 1992 and in the 1995 adaptation of the play, while Blanchett played the leading role of Blanche DuBois in the Australian production of the play staged by the Sydney Theatre Company in 2008. Other critics and cultural commentators argued that the story of Jasmine as a "shrill narcissist falling apart" and "in a crisis of self-flagellation after living in denial for years" was modeled on his former companion, Mia Farrow, and that the film is a "response" to their high-profile and acrimonious break-up.
Blue Jasmine was released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 21, 2014.
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