Whenever Woody Allen comes out with a new movie-- which he continues to do with alarming frequency-- those of us who still care even moderately may ask, "How is he this time?" as if he were an infirm relation who's reached the stage where he's blessed with more bad days than good. Blue Jasmine is a bad day. Cate Blanchett's Jasmine is a fragile little thing in a fix. She used to have money, but finds herself washed up because of malfeasance on the part of her now-absent big-businessman husband (Alec Baldwin). She lights on the San Francisco home of her sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins), armed with a passel of Louis Vuitton suitcases filled with posh-girl outfits. Ginger dresses in working-class brights and takes up with, in Jasmine's estimation, the "wrong" men—her current beau is Bobby Cannavale’s dese/dem/dose hunk whose mere presence gets right under Jasmine's skin. Although Jasmine would prefer to rely on the kindness of strangers, she must learn a trade. How about interior decorating? She's convinced she can earn the necessary certificate online, but knows nothing about computers. So Jasmine does what any 2013 Woody Allen character would: She enrolls in a computer class, for which she must study assiduously after-hours. Blue Jasmine is so relentlessly clueless about the ways real human beings live, and so eager to make the same points about human nature that Allen has made before, that it seems like a movie beamed from another planet. Blanchett is supposed to be complex, challenging, and affecting, and she strikes each note as precisely as if she were hitting the bars on a xylophone.
Woody AllenAlec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Louis C.K., Bobby Cannavale, Andrew Dice Clay, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg, Alden Ehrenreich, Charlie TahanWoody AllenSony Pictures Classics