Blue Jasmine Review (MovieMantz)
August 16, 2013
LOS ANGELES, Calif. --
Access Hollywood’s Scott “Movie” Mantz reviews Cate Blanchett & Alec Baldwin’s new film “Blue Jasmine,” calling it a compelling, unsettling and darkly comic character study about a woman deep in the throes of a psychological breakdown…
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins, Alec Baldwin
Directed by: Woody Allen
“One minute you’re on top of the world, the next, pfft.” — Chili (Bobby Cannavale), “Blue Jasmine”
Life can change in an instant, and Chili’s perceptive observation pretty much sums up everything you need to know about his girlfriend’s emotionally unstable sister in “Blue Jasmine” – the 43rd (yes, 43rd!) feature film directed by the prolific Woody Allen, who also, of course, wrote the stinging, razor-sharp screenplay.
But that’s exactly what happened to Jasmine (Cate Blanchett), a delicate former New York socialite whose spectacular fall from grace throws her life into a dramatic tailspin. While she may never fully recover, watching her try makes for a compelling, unsettling and darkly comic character study about a woman deep in the throes of a psychological breakdown. It’s a complex role that features Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett (Best Supporting Actress for 2004’s “The Aviator”) in the performance of her career, while the film itself easily stands as the Wood-man’s best work since 2005’s “Match Point.”
Jasmine is a pampered snob who has lived her whole life defined by who she was with. For much of that time, that person was Hal (Alec Baldwin), a wealthy financial planner who gave her everything she could possibly want: a Park Avenue apartment, a home in the Hamptons, a jet-setting lifestyle – you name it, she had it.
But when Hal is busted for shady Bernie Madoff-style business practices, Jasmine loses everything, forcing her to move in with her estranged sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) in her modest San Francisco apartment. But instead of being humbled by the experience, she continues to be the unwitting cause of her own downward spiral. It’s a downfall that will have no end in sight, at least not until she opens her eyes to the hard truths around her and takes responsibility for the consequences of her ignorance.
It’s a bleak, tragic and somewhat disturbing story, since Jasmine ends up not too far from where she started – as an unhinged, self-entitled, neurotic, pill-popping alcoholic who manages to alienate every last person who’s ever cared about her. She’s a mess for sure, but the genius of Blanchett’s haunting, tour-de-force performance lies with her ability to make her a vulnerable, sympathetic character that you can’t help but root for, even when she is not fully deserving of that compassion.
The film’s dual structure makes for a rewarding experience, as the story of Jasmine’s elegant, high-class lifestyle is told in conjunction with that of her humiliating downfall. In the former, she’s happy to reap the aristocratic rewards of her crooked (and unfaithful) husband, even when she suspects that there’s more to him than meets the eye.
In the latter, she struggles to reinvent herself, but without any marketable skills or real means of financial support, she’s in for a world of pain. She begrudgingly takes a job at a dentist’s office, where she is sexually harassed by her boss (Michael Stuhlbarg). She can barely stand her sister’s endearing new boyfriend (Bobby Cannavale), nor does she show any remorse to her sister’s ex-husband (Andrew Dice Clay), who lost everything after a bad investment. Then she lies through her teeth to catch the romantic eye of an aspiring politician (Peter Sarsgaard), who represents her last best hope to climb back to the perch of the glamorous life she once had.
Cate Blanchett’s incredible, far-ranging turn is the stuff that Oscar-worthy performances are made of, but the rest of the cast is also in top form, especially Andrew Dice Clay – a revelation in a serious, heartbreaking role that should do wonders to reinvent his career. And then there’s 77-year-old Woody Allen himself, a filmmaking legend who’s not only still at the top of his game, but after 43 movies, he’s still on top of the world.
Verdict: SEE IT!
-- Scott Mantz
Copyright 2013 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
MovieMantz Reviews: American Hustle, Saving Mr. Banks & The Hobbit: Desolation Of The Smaug
Scott “Movie” Mantz undergoes an “American Hustle” makeover on Access Hollywood Live to review this week’s releases. Does David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” live up to the critical acclaim? Plus, how will “Saving Mr. Banks” fare this holiday season? Finally, will “The Hobbit: Desolation of the Smaug” work for non-fans of the series?
Year-End Review 2013: The Best Movies
Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz and Fandango correspondent Alicia Malone join Access’ Shaun Robinson to breakdown the best movies of 2013. Where did Sandra Bullock’s “Gravity” land on the list? Plus, which films do they see as the biggest Oscar contenders?
MovieMantz Reviews: Frozen, Black Nativity, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom & Homefront
Scott “Movie” Mantz visits Access Hollywood Live to review the newest movies hitting theaters this holiday weekend. Did Disney’s “Frozen” warm Scott’s heart or leave him in the cold? Plus, how is Idris Elba’s performance as Nelson Mandela in “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom”? And, are “Black Nativity” & “Homefront” worthy of a “See It” rating?
Holiday Film Preview: Which Movies Are Must Watch?
With a ton of holiday films still to come, Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz and Fandango’s Dave Karger breakdown the must watch movies for the holiday season, including “Saving Mr. Banks,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “American Hustle.”
MovieMantz Reviews: Mandela – Long Walk To Freedom, Black Nativity & Homefront
Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz calls Idris Elba’s new film, “Mandel: Long Walk to Freedom,” a “really powerful” movie. Also, why is “Black Nativity” so “hard to resist”? Plus, what does he have to say about Jason Statham’s new movie, “Homefront”?
MovieMantz Reviews: Disney’s Frozen & Nebraska
Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz is calling Disney’s “Frozen” the perfect movie to see over the Thanksgiving weekend. Plus, why is Scott calling screen legend Bruce Dern’s role in “Nebraska” the performance of his career?
Idris Elba Discusses Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom & Oscar Buzz
Idris Elba talks with Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz about the “relief” he felt for the positive reception he received for the Johannesburg premiere of his new movie, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” Also, he tells Scott about the “massive compliment” he received from Nelson Mandela’s wife, Winnie. Plus, how Idris feel about the Oscar buzz surrounding his film?
Naomie Harris’ Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom NYC Premiere
Naomie Harris chats with Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz about how great it is to premiere her new film, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” in New York City. Also, she tells Scott how great it felt to have Winnie Mandela’s blessing. Plus, Naomie is extremely flattered by the Oscar buzz surrounding her and Idris’ performances.
MovieMantz Reviews: Thor: The Dark World & The Armstrong Lie
Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz says he liked “Thor: The Dark World” more than its predecessor – but, did he like it enough to recommend seeing it? Plus, what does Scott think about “The Armstrong Lie,” a movie which details how Lance Armstrong duped the world.
MovieMantz Reviews: Thor: The Dark World & The Armstrong Lie
Scott “Movie” Mantz visits Access Hollywood Live to review this weekend’s newest releases. Is “Thor: The Dark World” another hit for the successful Marvel franchise or is it a dud? Plus, is the new documentary, “The Armstrong Lie,” which revisits the Lance Armstrong performance enhancing drug scandal, worth checking out?
Will Forte Takes On His First Serious Role In Nebraska
Will Forte tells Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz why it was so “nerve racking” taking on his first serious role in “Nebraska.” Plus, he chats about bonding with director Alexander Payne over margaritas. So, how did he connect with co-star Bruce Dern?
Jaimie Alexander Dishes On Her Revealing Dress - Thor: The Dark World Hollywood Premiere
Jaimie Alexander chats with Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz about getting ready for the Hollywood premiere of “Thor: The Dark World.” How difficult was it to put on her revealing dress? What’s the secret to keeping it on? Plus, why does she think that “Thor” is the sexiest superhero of them all?
Stan Lee Talks The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Cameo: How Will This One Be Different?
Stan Lee chats with Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz at the Hollywood premiere of “Thor: The Dark World” about the big bucks the film has already made overseas, before the movie has opened in the US. Plus, what can he reveal about his cameo in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”?
Kat Dennings Talks Bringing The Humor To Thor: The Dark World
Kat Dennings chats with Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz at the Hollywood premiere of “Thor: The Dark World” about helping to bring the humor to the movie. Plus, why does she say the movie’s action and romance will be enjoyed by both men and women?
Zachary Levi Talks Joining The Cast Of Thor: The Dark World
Zachary Levi chats with Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz at the Hollywood premiere of “Thor: The Dark World.” How excited was he to join the cast? Plus, why does he think this movie is so popular with the Marvel fans?
Clark Gregg Talks Bringing The Marvel Universe Together On Agents Of S.H.E.I.L.D.
Clark Gregg chats with Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz at the Hollywood premiere of “Thor: The Dark World” about his journey through the Marvel universe. How exciting has it been to be a part of this world? Plus, will “Thor” make an appearance on ABC’s “Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.”?
Tom Hiddleston Reveals His Latest Impression: Anthony Hopkins!
Anthony Hopkins Dishes On Thor: The Dark World & His Breaking Bad Obsession
Anthony Hopkins brings his family to the premiere of this new movie, “Thor: The Dark World,” at the El Capitan Theatre where he praises the entire cast to Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz. Also, he talks about the phone call he got from Bryan Cranston after he received his “Breaking Bad” fan letter.
Chris Hemsworth’s Thor: The Dark World Hollywood Premiere
Chris Hemsworth talks with Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz about the box office success of this new film, “Thor: The Dark World.” Also, how did he film his kiss scenes with co-star Natalie Portman, who is a foot shorter than him? Plus, Chris tells Scott how Mike Tyson inspired his fighting style in the Marvel movie.
MovieMantz Reviews: Dallas Buyers Club, Ender’s Game & Free Birds
Access movie critic Scott “Movie” Mantz says Matthew McConaughey gives the performance of his career as Ron Woodroof in “Dallas Buyers Club” — but what did he think of Jared Leto’s work? Plus, what did he think of Harrison Ford in “Ender’s Game”? And, what does Scott think about Owen Wilson’s new animated movie, “Free Birds”?
Last Vegas, Dallas Buyers Club, About Time, Free Birds & Ender’s Game – MovieMantz Reviews
Scott “Movie” Mantz reviews five movies at a frenetic pace on Access Hollywood Live. MovieMantz will let you know where to spend your box office bucks this weekend in no time flat!
The Counselor & Blue Is The Warmest Color – MovieMantz Reviews
Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz weighs in on this weekend’s new releases. Why wasn’t he a fan of “The Counselor,” despite the all-star cast? Plus, Scott reviews the foreign film “Blue is the Warmest Color.”
Bad Grandpa & The Counselor – MovieMantz Reviews
Access Hollywood’s Scott “Movie” Mantz gets ornery as his alter-ego “Grandpa Mantz” to review “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” & the new Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt thriller “The Counselor.” Are these new films worth watching? “Grandpa Mantz” will give his verdict if he doesn’t get kicked off the set first!
MovieMantz Reviews: 12 Years A Slave & All Is Lost
Access movie critic Scott “Movie” Mantz calls “12 Years a Slave” a “masterpiece,” but is it Best Picture material? And if so, can it beat “Gravity”? Plus, while Scott calls Robert Redford’s performance in “All Is Lost” “remarkable,” does he think it can be a contender?
MovieMantz Reviews: Captain Phillips; The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister & Pete
While Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz thinks Tom Hanks’ new movie, “Captain Phillips,” has all the makings of a great movie – why is he saying the film has some issues? Plus, what does he think of Jennifer Hudson’s new flick, “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete”?
Top 13 Movies Of 2013 (MovieMantz)
All Is Lost Review (MovieMantz)
Captain Phillips Review (MovieMantz)
Enough Said Review (MovieMantz)
Gravity Review (MovieMantz)
Toronto Film Festival Roundup: 7 Must-See Movies (MovieMantz)
Star Trek Into Darkness Fans Boldly Set the Record Straight
Blue Jasmine Review (MovieMantz)
Star Trek Into Darkness: Is It Really The Worst Star Trek Movie Ever? (MovieMantz)
Europa Report Review (MovieMantz)
The Wolverine Review (MovieMantz)
The Way, Way Back Review (MovieMantz)
White House Down Review (MovieMantz)
World War Z Review (MovieMantz)
Man Of Steel Review (MovieMantz)
The Hangover Part III Review: The Party’s Over (MovieMantz)
Star Trek Into Darkness Review (MovieMantz)
Iron Man 3 Review (MovieMantz)
42 Review (MovieMantz)
Oscar Predictions 2013: Who Will Win/Who Should Win (MovieMantz)
Top 10 Movies Of 2012 (MovieMantz)
This Is 40 Review (MovieMantz)
Zero Dark Thirty Review (MovieMantz)
Life Of Pi — MovieMantz Review
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 Review (MovieMantz)
Top 10 Baseball Movies Of All-Time (MovieMantz)
Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz countsdown the top 10 baseball movies of all-time. Play ball!
Top 10 Movies Of 2012 (MovieMantz)
Access’ Scott ‘Movie’ Mantz counts down the best movies of 2012!
MovieMantz: Top 10 Christmas Movies Of All-Time
Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz breaks down his top 10 favorite Christmas movies of all-time, with some titles that you might not expect!
MovieMantz 2011 Oscar Predictions: And The Oscar Will Go To…
Who will walk away a winner on Hollywood’s biggest night? Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz weighs in with his predictions!
MovieMantz: Oscar Predictions 2010 — ‘It’s Complicated? Hardly!’
Who will walk away a winner on Oscar night this year? Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz weighs in with his predictions!
MovieMantz: Best Movies of the Decade
Find out which films made MovieMantz’s list!
MovieMantz: Best of 2009
For the first time in a while, I actually had a hard time picking just 10 movies for my annual year-end best-of list. Ah, if I only had this problem every year…
MovieMantz Countdown: Top 10 Scariest Movies of All Time
Access’ Scott “Movie” Mantz counts down the top 10 horror films of all time!