Woody Allen’s latest film “one of his best” according to this reviewer

Posted: August 28, 2013 in Morcan films
Tags: , , , ,

Truthdig.com movie reviewer Richard Schickel reckons Woody Allen’s latest movie, “Blue Jasmine”, starring Cate Blanchett, is one of his best.

Woody Allen has done it again.

In a perceptive review in the Arts & Culture columns of that must-subscribe-to online site, Truthdig.com, Schickel says, “…this (film) is one of his best—sober, sometimes excoriating, likely lingering in its effect…People grow and change if they’re lucky. And Allen is, among other things, lucky. Imagine—77 years old and still making movies as good as “Blue Jasmine,” when most directors his age are out of work or collecting dubious awards.”

Excerpts of Schickel’s review follow:

When we meet Jasmine French (Cate Blanchett) at the beginning of Woody Allen’s new movie, she is, with the help of booze, pills and endless monologues, in distress. She is alarmingly close to a full-scale breakdown. By the end of “Blue Jasmine,” she has, of course, gone completely around the bend.

Blanchett as Jasmine French in Blue Jasmine.

It was not always like this with her. Once, not long ago, she was rich. Now she is reduced to living humbly with her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) in a very tight apartment. Once, the idea of working for a living could be dismissed with the wave of a careless hand. Now she’s lucky to have a job—at which she’s terrible—as a receptionist in a dentist’s office. Once, she had a glamorous marriage (to a splendidly slippery Alec Baldwin, no less). He has become a major actor, without anyone especially noticing how good he is.

Alec Baldwin “splendidly slippery”

The men who slide in and out of Jasmine’s life are a dismal lot. You can’t imagine any former life in which she would manage more than a few words of strained politeness with them. So what we have here are the makings of a great performance, which Blanchett delivers. I’m not someone who regularly proclaims Oscar nominations this early—or ever, for that matter. But this is one of them. She is, putting it mildly, strung tight—lost, quivering, a woman of interior and exterior dialogues aimed at getting a grip on herself. Sometimes it seems as if that may actually happen. But she always falls back in disarray.

It gives nothing away to say that the movie arrives at an end that you can pretty much see coming from its first reel. We leave her muttering to herself without a hope in hell of finding her way back to something like what? Not sanity, surely, because sanity has never been an issue with her. She’s really just an everyday neurotic, the kind of person you more or less avoid, if possible. Or to whom you give the shortest possible shrift. Blanchett is up for all of this. This is a wonderfully shifty performance—full of nervous laughter, devious strategies, no small amount of desperation, and moments of slightly eerie calm. There are also violent confrontations, which startle and discomfit you.

For the full review go to: http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/woody_allens_latest_shows_hes_still_got_it_20130802/

 

Woody Allen on the set of Blue Jasmine

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