Film review: Blue Jasmine (8 out of 10)

Cate Blachett and Sally Hawkins in Blue Jasmine
Cate Blachett and Sally Hawkins in Blue Jasmine

After a year so far of superheroes, bloody violence and general mayhem it’s a genuine pleasure to watch a movie dealing with comparatively normal life in all its variety.

Writer and director Woody Allen can be a bit hit or miss - no surprise really when you are creating a movie every year.

So it’s great to see himhit the heights again after a few low points.

Cate Blanchett plays the title role, a former wealthy New York socialite whose world has crashed downafter her husband is arrested for some dodgy financial dealings.

Following a nervous breakdown we find her flying off to stay with her sister, Ginger, in San Francisco.

However, Ginger (Sally Hawkins) has a completely different lifestyle and outlook.

Using a series of flashbacks we see Jasmine’s eventual demise and how her life has been based on the veneer of wealth.

As it’s a Woody Allen movie there are some well observed comic moments, but this is a far more glum film than he has produced before.

Blanchett is absolutely superb in a role that allows for a wide variety of emotions.

Hawkins is also excellent as Ginger attempts to find some redeeming elements in her sister.

In fact, as usual, Woody Allen has assembled a very good cast, including Alec Baldwin and Peter Sarsgaard, who all play their part to the full.

Bobby Cannavale as Ginger’s boyfriend Chili is particularly good with some great funny one-liners that lift the mood,

The direction is slick and, of course with Allen, the jazz music in the background, is spot on.

But it’s Blanchett who is getting all the plaudits.

She certainly should be in the running once the awards season comes knocking.

And for Allen himself? Well let’s hope he has plenty more great ideas in his collection of notes.

We need more movies of this kind.

Film details: Blue Jasmine (12A) 98mins

Director: Woody Allen

Starring: Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins, Alec Bladwin, Bobby Cannavale

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley