Yesterday I saw Blue Jasmine, starring Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins.
Jeanette (Blanchette) changed her name to Jasmine years ago because her given name wasn't elegant enough. It seems everything in her life needs to be coated in luxury for her to feel normal.
She meets Hal (Alec Baldwin), a wealthy businessman, marries him and lives a charmed life in Manhattan until her world falls out from under her when he's arrested for a white collar crime.
Broke and directionless, she attempts to start over in San Francisco where her sister Ginger (Hawkins) lives a much more middle class life.
A black comedy with the darkest of undertones, the absurdity of Jasmine's grief often gets the biggest laughs, as her mourning focuses more on the material things she lost than the husband she loved.
Blanchett gives an Oscar-worthy performance as a woman on the brink of cracking, popping pills and offering a healthy amount of product placement for Stoli vodka. She's both funny and tragic; ridiculous in most scenes, but still genuine enough to garner sympathy from the audience.
The supporting cast is nothing short of brilliant as well—Hawkins is a down-to-earth sister with more patience for her sibling than most would have; Bobby Cannavale and Louis C.K. prove appropriately comical as her suitors. As usual, Baldwin is perfectly cast as the slimy former husband.
Allen is on a roll—Midnight in Paris, To Rome with Love and now this. Satisfying, delightful stories with colorful characters coming to life.