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3.8 out of 5 stars320
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 3 May 2015
I don't like to read film reviews. I prefer not being told what I'm going to experience. However, it's just about impossible to avoid reading the splash across the front of the package. "BRILLIANTLY FUNNY" (5 stars - Sunday Times Culture).

Whoever thought this finely observed tragedy was Brilliantly Funny should leave planet Earth for fundamental retraining before having another go at mingling.

It's a brilliant film and Cate Blanchett is rivetingly superb. There are poignantly amusing moments as you'd expect from Woody Allen. FUNNY it ain't.
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on 28 April 2014
Mesmerizing Cate. That's all I can say. It is one of her best performances. It's a beautifully acted emotional film.
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on 28 July 2014
Although there are some funny scenes in this film by Woody Allen, it is really more a tragedy than a comedy. Over a long career, Allen's work reflects great insights into the psychology
of very conflicted people, especially women, as portrayed by Diane Keaton, Mia Farrow, and now in this movie, by Cate Blanchett as Jasmine and Sally Hawkins as Jasmine's sister, Ginger.
Both deserve high critical acclaim for their evocative performances. On the surface, Jasmine and Ginger have very different lives. Jasmine got extremely rich in New York, having married a successful businessman who turns out to be a swindler; Ginger got poor in San Francisco, having a knack for picking men who are losers. But as their lives intersect after Jasmine, now destitute following the conviction and suicide in prison of her husband, moves in with Ginger, they are both extraordinarily vulnerable, yet unable to help each other while they try to work out their lonely lives and unsuccessful love affairs. Of the two, Jasmine is the less sympathetic but perhaps more interesting for her continual self-deception even as she deceives others.
Her mental and emotional unravelling is painful to see. Ginger ultimately comes to terms with reality and accepts the limits of her circumstances in life and love. The story is believable, arresting, and disturbing. Just as you expect from Woody Allen at his best.
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on 14 September 2014
Woody Allen draws heavily on the Elia Kazan classic "A Streetcar Named Desire" for its characterisation and situation. While Vivian Leigh's Blanche is a Southern belle (in which she partially reprises her part in "Gone With The Wind") Cate Blanchett's Jasmine is a New York Socialite. Both have fallen on hard times after a life of riches, and both are compelled to go and live in a new city with their sister, who has taken up with a 'common' sort in a rough part of town, arriving with expensive luggage and unrealistic expectations, and all the time self delusional and self medicating with strong drink.
The mismatch of values and outlooks drive both films, and Allen even dabs in a reference to the Jasmine perfume worn by Blanche in the great Tennessee William's play. Of course there is no Brando character or the sultry New Orleans night in Woody Allen's tragi-comic excursion to torment and intoxicate Jasmine. San Francisco has its streetcars too but Jasmine's ride to recovery terminates as her past catches up with her. Blanchett's journey to madness is played precisely for the modern world and Jasmine's efforts to cope, survive and claw her way back to a comfortable existence makes compelling viewing, with great acting support from Britain's Sally Hawkins, Alec Baldwin and Louis CK.
It is terrific to see Woody Allen soar after a few recent turkeys - but it is Blanchett's film no question. Interestingly Blanchett and recently played Blanche on the stage and having declared her to be her favourite character is it a reasonable assumption that she based much of Jasmine on her. While Blanche was clearly a victim, Jasmine is still a fighter and she leaves the viewer with sympathy for a character that is difficult to like or connect with. Long after the credits have rolled, we are left wondering and worrying about what the world holds next for Blue Jasmine.
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VINE VOICEon 28 September 2013
A more serious film from Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine tells the story of Jasmine, a spoilt New York Socialite forced to move in with her sister in San Francisco after she loses her entire fortune after her husband is arrested for fraud. While not up there with Woody Allen's great films like Annie Hall or Manhatten, Blue Jasmine is one of his better recent films with excellent all round performances especially Cate Blanchett in the lead role and Alec Baldwin as her husband who appears via flashback. While Jasmine is a completely unsympathetic character and a snob at least to me anyway, it's Blanchett's superb performance one of her best in fact, that keeps you watching.
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on 23 January 2014
Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) is a socialite who has fallen on hard times. She moves to San Francisco to live with her blue collar sister (both were adopted and not blood related). Jasmine is in a constant state of drink, prescription drugs and nervous breakdown. She cannot function in her sister Ginger's (Sally Hawkins) world. Jasmine had the good genes and was mom's favorite, yet for me Ginger was the real hero as I never developed any empathy for our title character.

Allen works the juxtaposition to the max using flashbacks to compare Jasmine's current state to that of her past and also to the life of her sister Ginger. The flashbacks are not all chronological.

I am a fan of the Wood Man, I loved "Midnight in Paris." I kept waiting for the cleverness to hit me. Was it in the lyrics of the song "Blue Moon" which reflected Jasmine's life? Was it the juxtapositions? Was it the similarity to "Streetcar...?" Where do I look at this film and say, "Only Woody Allen could have done this?" It wasn't there.

Cate Blanchett does give a great performance and makes the film worth viewing. I am glad I just rented it. 3 1/2 stars
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on 6 March 2014
This is a grim, but wonderfully acted, story about Jasmine, an unquestioning, super-rich, society wife who by a deliberate act of malice against her unscrupulous, unfaithful, con-man husband, causes her world to completely unravel, leaving her husband dead (from suicide in prison) and her with nothing. The film is about her attempts to put some of the pieces together after having a severe mental breakdown which was treated (we learn) by ECT. She is on the verge of madness throughout the film, covered by a seemingly sophisticated, upmarket veneer which she uses to function. Nevertheless, her attempts at re-educating herself and learning skills for the jobs market are hampered both by her poor mental state and what seems like confusion and memory loss, which could have been left by the ECT. She falls back on trying to find another rich husband to care for and pamper her as she has been used to. All goes horribly wrong. Although Jasmine is not a sympathetic character who seems to have learned nothing from her experiences, I did strangely feel sympathy for her and her predicament. The film is very interesting and thought provoking, wonderfully constructed and acted. The other thought I've recently had is that unfortunately no one was seeing Jasmine's madness (probably because of cultural factors) and taking her in hand either by seriously talking with her, checking on her medication or getting her more mental health support (ideally counselling). The film is a Greek tragedy.
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Jasmine' (Cate Blanchett) has lived the high-life, however the government has
caught up with her husbands 'Hal's (Alec Baldwin) dubious dealings.
Now down on her luck and penniless she turns to her estranged sister 'Ginger'
for help.
Having lost her plush life style she struggles with the realities she now finds herself
in,
'Ginger' lives in a comparatively humble home, and lives in a world that 'Jasmine'
doesn't understand.
On the verge of a nervous breakdown 'Jasmine' is frequently seen talking to herself
out-loud.
Her mind drifting back to yesterday whilst denying the realities of her present being.
Fantasies and lies, will they carry her through the crisis.?
'Cate Blanchett' won an Oscar for this role, there is no question that her portrayal
of the part is less than worthy of acclaim, and it would be fair to say that she is without
question one of today's greatest actresses......
For me the film is too 'chatty' and falls short of the hype it has been given, just don't
think it's everybody's cup of tea.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 January 2015
In tone, this reminded me of films Allen made in the 1980s, that I enjoyed. Its best features are the strong central performances by Cate Blanchett as Jasmine and her relationship with her sister Ginger, played by Sally Hawkins.
Jasmine has come to stay with Ginger, after falling on hard times. She portrays herself as some sort of distressed gentlewoman and struggles with everyday living. As the film goes on you realise how depressed and deluded she is. Her previous lifestyle and subsequent decline is revealed in flashback and you learn how, like all tragic figures, she has contributed to her own downfall.
Minor gripes are that all blue collar characters like Ginger and her boyfriend Chili, in Woody Allen films always have an exaggerated Brooklyn type accent no matter where they are from and in the case of Ginger a squeaky voice. Also they have names like Chili and Ginger as though they were a gangster and moll from a 1930s film.
Overall though, a good film.
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on 28 February 2016
Most reviewers don't mention it's a rewrite of 'Streetcar named Desire'. Having watched the Marlon Brando version of the Tennessee William's play recently, I feel that it adds to that very famous version through it's rewrite, by taking out some theatrical stuff (though the story is, by nature, hugely theatrical), and making the characters go through very recognisable emotional events. Cate is sublime, excellent support.
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