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Blue Jasmine

Blue Jasmine

Starring: Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Sally Hawkins, Andrew Dice Clay, Bobby Cannavale (Rated M – 98 min).

It may be too early to predict if she will actually win but it is without a shadow of a doubt that Australia’s own screen goddess, Cate Blanchett, will be nominated for every possible plaudit in the upcoming award ceremony season.

Written and directed by celluloid genius Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine is an acquired taste, but an unforgettable master-class of emotional acting. Jasmine had it all, a beautiful life of luxury until the fraud squad move in on her once affluent but corrupt husband Hal (Alec Baldwin). Used to being flush with fresh cash, the pristine rush of money to burn then losing the fortune, sends her to the verge of a nervous breakdown of gigantic proportions. A deeply troubled Jasmine fronts up unexpected on her sister’s doorstep. Dealing with her own problems, Ginger (an irrepressible Sally Hawkins) is shocked by the mere presence of the adopted sibling Jasmine.

Vodka consumption and potentially hysterical inhabitancies for anyone within her vicinity also upsets Ginger’s new outspoken boyfriend Chili (Bobby Cannavale). Public mood swings are only the beginning, these painful confrontations that Jasmine incurs are just heartbreaking, while at the same time darkly comical. Cate Blanchett is flawless as this tragic and grandly egotistical woman, but as unhinged as she becomes, there is still a sense of generosity or sympathy to anyone that shows moderate interest in her incredible stories. Commonly washing down prescription medication with shots of vodka only adds to her inner misery.

The good times of holidays at the beach and shopping up a storm are told in bright romantic vibrant flashbacks. Subjectively gloomy present day activities seemingly head to unhappiness all round. An amazing return for controversial shock stand up comedian Andrew Dice Clay (Adventures of Ford Fairlane) is a revelation in an unlikely subdued role as Augie.  Be prepared for the unexpected after Jasmine reluctantly takes a job in dentist reception. Michael Stuhlbarg (Oscar nominee for A Serious Man) gets under your skin as Dentist Dr. Flicker, an uncomfortable presence not only for Jasmine but also the viewer, less is more.

The movie trailer suggests a comedy. This is not conventionally humorous – sombre and bittersweet is more to the point.

Shane A. Bassett

Sydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.