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DVD Review: Blue Jasmine

January 24, 2014

Blue Jasmine DVD CoverBlue Jasmine – A Sony Pictures Classics Release

http://www.sonyclassics.com/bluejasmine/

DVD Release Date: January 21st, 2014

Rated 14A for mature themes and substance abuse

Running time: 98 minutes

Woody Allen (dir.)

Woody Allen (writer)

Cate Blanchett as Jasmine

Alec Baldwin as Hal

Louis C.K. as Al

Bobby Cannavale as Chili

Andrew Dice Clay as Augie

Sally Hawkins as Ginger

Peter Sarsgaard as Dwight

Michael Stuhlbarg as Dr. Flicker

Our reviews below:

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Blue Jasmine DVD Review By John Corrado

***1/2 (out 0f 4)

Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) was a wealthy socialite in New York, until her philandering husband (Alec Baldwin) went to jail for financial fraud and brought her down in the process.  Left broke and riddled with panic attacks, Jasmine goes to live with her adopted sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) in San Francisco, a working class woman who couldn’t be more different.  Jasmine struggles to keep up appearances while adapting to her new life, but she keeps drifting away into her own mind, consumed by painful memories of the past.

Woody Allen is in top form with Blue Jasmine, delivering a sharply written and expertly acted study of mental illness, with another excellent soundtrack of jazz tunes.  The story is seamlessly told through flashbacks and present day scenes, and at the heart of the film is a brilliant turn from Cate Blanchett, a sublime performance that draws us further into the mind of this multilayered woman.  Jasmine is yet another unforgettable female character from the iconic director, and it’s fascinating to watch her slowly unravel, leading up to a brilliant final scene.

The DVD includes a press conference with the cast and footage from the red carpet.

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Blue Jasmine DVD Review By Erin V.

***1/2 (out of 4)

Woody Allen’s newest film Blue Jasmine centres around a woman named Jasmine French (Cate Blanchett), who moves to San Francisco to live temporarily with her sister (Sally Hawkins) after a nervous breakdown.  Jasmine’s problems have all been exacerbated by her husband’s (Alec Baldwin) arrest for bank fraud which has left her broke.  Told through flashbacks as Jasmine’s mind wanders to better times, we see how she is struggling to adapt to no longer being extravagantly rich and on the top of society’s socialite list.

The divide between the world she sees herself as belonging in and the working class world of her sister in San Francisco is large, and Jasmine cannot cope.  Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of a woman in a constant state of breakdown is believable and entirely deserving of her Oscar nomination.

Blue Jasmine – like so many of Woody Allen’s films before it – provides a very real look at its characters.  Jasmine, Hal, her sister, along with her many boyfriends, are all distinctly played and viewed through the eyes of the title character.  The writing is sharp, and as we drift through the story with Jasmine, we are not sure what the outcome can be for her, with the film’s ending perfectly capturing this.

Now that it’s on DVD, if you missed this one in theatres, it is definitely worth checking it out now.  It is fully deserving of the attention it is getting for its performances and writing.

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Blue Jasmine DVD Review By Nicole

***1/2 (out of 4)

Blue Jasmine tells a sombre tale of one woman’s regrets.  Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) is still reeling from the effects of her fraudulent ex-husband, Hal (Alec Baldwin).  She moves in with her sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins), who is going through her own relationship troubles.

Blue Jasmine is a fascinating look as psychology.  Cate Blanchett is perfect as someone on the brink of emotional breakdown.  Woody Allen has one again produced some wonderfully complex characters in this dramedy.  Blue Jasmine is intelligent, sometimes funny, and fascinating throughout.

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Blue Jasmine DVD Review By Maureen

***1/2 (out of 4)

Jasmine French (Cate Blanchett) is a Xanax-popping, martini drinking and always well dressed former socialite whose sudden financial ruin has her struggling to maintain some degree of mental stability.  Cate Blanchett portrays her brilliantly in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine.  Her character is hard to like, yet mesmerizing to watch.  As always, Woody Allen manages to write dialogue and characters with intelligence and depth.

Jasmine’s troubles begin when her wealthy financier husband, Hal (Alec Baldwin) is arrested for financial fraud.  When her assets are all seized, she has no choice but to move from upper Manhattan to San Francisco to stay with her working class sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins) and her two kids.

Jasmine struggles to fit into this ordinary, average world that includes Ginger’s boyfriend Chili (Bobby Cannavale), ex-husband Augie (Andrew Dice Clay) and a host of other working class types that Jasmine considers to be “losers.”  Things get worse for her when she is forced to take a job as a receptionist with an awkward dentist, Dr. Flicker (Michael Stuhlberg).

Blue Jasmine is up there in ranks with Woody Allen’s best films.  The dialogue and characters are so well written and nicely developed.  As in the wonderful Midnight in Paris, the jazz music in the background sets the mood perfectly.  Woody Allen fans will want to see Blue Jasmine, especially for Cate Blanchett’s amazing performance.

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Blue Jasmine DVD Review By Tony

**** (out of 4)

Blue Jasmine begins and ends with a recurring monologue of Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) reliving moments in her marriage to Hal (Alec Baldwin) shown in flashbacks. As a wealthy New York socialite, Jasmine remained blissfully unaware of Hal’s philandering and shady business deals until everything came crashing down. Now she is forced to move in with her working class sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) in San Francisco. With two young sons from her ex-husband Augie (Andrew Dice Clay), Ginger has a boyfriend Chili (Bobby Cannavale) and a brief dalliance with Al (Louis C.K.). Jasmine takes a job as receptionist for a dentist (Michael Stuhlbarg) until he tries to carry their relationship too far, and then meets Dwight (Peter Sarsgaard), a wealthy diplomat who may be able to return her to her former lifestyle.

Though mainly known for comedies, the prolific writer/director Woody Allen has occasionally dealt with more serious themes, beginning with his homage to Ingmar Bergman, Interiors (1978). Cate Blanchett’s Jasmine is no less tragic than the previous film’s Geraldine Page character as she descends into madness before our eyes under constant self-medication. Ginger is a perfect foil, both in temperament and class, and their brilliant performances from the Australian Blanchett and English Hawkins are no less remarkable for their command of American English. As expected from an Allen film, the rest of the cast fits their roles perfectly, well served by an intelligent script with lots of humorous touches to relieve the tension and fine production throughout.

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Consensus: Anchored by an unforgettable performance from Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine is another excellent character study from Woody Allen, a sharply written and brilliantly acted portrait of a woman unravelling.  ***1/2 (Out of 4)

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