2013 may have been the year of disappointments and bad cinema, but some movies delivered what was expected from them, and others exceeded expectations. It beats me how Woody Allen can write a stale and stodgy dramedy and make it feel so fresh and lively like he did in Blue Jasmine, but I can tell you it felt as one of the liveliest movies of the year, alongside Frances Ha.
Broke and devastated after her cheating husband’s suicide and her fall from grace, Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) seeks a home at her sister’s place in San Francisco. She’s obnoxious, selfish, even narcissistic, and she makes everyone’s lives miserable.
No matter how you turn it and how you watch it, almost every scene in this movie felt like a piece of art. Woody Allen proved capable of creating chronicled characters, writing sharp dialogues, and turning those into one of the best movies he’s made in decades. But to be fair, Blue Jasmine belonged to Jasmine. Cate Blanchett gives the most complicated, astonishing, and electrifying performances of her career. She was the gem of the movie, and she kept on shining to the very last minute in some satirical yet eloquent sadness. Allen made the movie look like an artistic piece of satire, but Blanchett made it feel like a complex character study of a fallen socialite. If she doesn’t deserve the Oscar for the best actress in a leading role this year, I don’t know who does. She’s beyond brilliant.
A good Woody Allen movie is always a joy these days, and this complex humorous drama called Blue Jasmine is a generous gift to Hollywood in a year of despair.