Sure to win this year's Academy Award for Best Actress, Cate Blanchett OWNS the beautifully written and difficult role of BLUE JASMINE.
A wealthy Fifth Avenue socialite married to financial manager Hal (Alec Baldwin, terrific) she watches her entire world collapse when Hal's Madoff-like money schemes collapse.
The film flashes back and forth in time as Jasmine moves in with her paycheck-to-paycheck sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) in San Francisco.
By seeing both Jasmine's former life and her current attempted adjustment to an unprivileged life, you gain empathy for her, while wrestling with her underlying values.
Writer/Director Woody Allen is at the top of his game with a film that's rarely funny but often very powerful. Allen's genius isn't just for writing, but for offbeat casting that surprises you.
Consider: Andrew Dice Clay, shockingly good as Ginger's ex-husband that lost his one shot at wealth due to Hal's schemes. Clay isn't just okay, he's terrific, especially in one key dramatic scene near the end of the film. Louis C.K. is also very good in a dramatic role as Ginger's fling, Bobby Cannavale is his usual powerhouse as Ginger's current boyfriend and Peter Sarsgaard is strong as a new man who has fallen in love with the woman Jasmine is pretending to be.
The film runs very deep with themes of who people are beneath the surface, class, family relationships and what makes people happy.
It's beautifully written, perfectly acted and one of Woody's all time best.
Blanchett is amazing. Her Jasmine will infuriate you, break your heart, inspire empathy, pity and revulsion. It's a powerful performance in a terrific film. Jasmine gets a very blue A.