Blue Jasmine

The Woody Allen title is in the tradition of naming films about special women (“Rose of Washington Square’, “Black Orchid”, “Blue Dahlia”) after flowers. Last week Charlie Rose interviewed Cate Blanchett, heroine of “Jasmine.” Seeming a bit dyspeptic, Rose was very interested Blanchett’s dialogue with Mr. Allen during the filming.

Cate said Woody spoke sparingly and that his mind was mostly in the south of France where it was working on the next production. As we know, Allen likes to let his actors flesh out their characters directly from the text and/or the script. Cate said that about a third of the way thru the shoot, Woody exclaimed “You know, this is not a comedy. It’s serious.” Flustered by this, she remarked to Rose “Well WHY didn’t he tell me this at the beginning ?”

My hunch is that Allen wanted her to run with the comic relief up to a certain point in any case. His job was to pick the point for the film’s change of mood. Letting her pick the shift may not have produced the result he wanted.
Your thoughts, please.

I just saw the movie today and Blanchett gave a hell of a performance. The movie was not the lighthearted fun of last year’s Midnight in Paris, which I loved - this movie was much more serious and did not wrap up as tidily. Besides Cate, I was also impressed by (of all people) Andrew Dice Clay - he did a really good job playing a working man who’s life’s dream is crushed.

I may like the ending more as I continue to ponder the movie, but initially I felt cheated by the lack of resolution for Cate’s character (unlike her sister, who I think had a complete story). Maybe that last scene was the end of Jasmine’s story, which is pretty tragic.

If it was Woody Allen’s strategy to deliberately give her a different feel for the movie halfway through, it worked. The movie works in part because it stays somewhat light throughout before the last few scenes. Somehow I liked the ending all the more because I wanted a better outcome for the character. It didn’t occur to me that it was an update of Streetcar Named Desire until someone mentioned it after the movie.

Just saw the film, and thought it was magnificent. Reading the story in the OP where Woody suddenly tells Blanchett, wait this is a serious movie, not a comedy, seems to be a brilliant directing move. It worked really well.

The interesting thing is that the people I saw the movie with thought the working class folks were basically caricatures, leading to the comment “Woody doesn’t know working class well” until I pointed out that Alec Baldwin’s character was basically a caricature as well. Seems like Woody made the decision that all the background characters were to be stereotypes to highlight the nuances revealed in Jasmine’s character (and I really liked the reveal at the end -re: the call).

Nitpick: Midnight in Paris wasn’t last year. It was two years ago. Last year’s movie was To Rome With Love. And I also loved Midnight in Paris, liked To Rome with Love and liked this movie. I think the themes were class and about honesty. Obviously, Alec Baldwin’s character, Hal was dishonest, but so was Louis CK’s character and Jasmine, particularly in her relationship with Dwight (bur also in the way she pretended not to know about Hal’s schemes but actually did know).

And I never expected to see Andrew Dice Clay in a serious role in a Woody Allen film.

Cate almost out-acted everyone who was in the scene with her. But then her character was the most out of touch with reality and headed for the biggest crash, so it worked that she seemed bigger than the rest until the very end.

Andrew Dice Clay was surprisingly good. I’d like to see him in more movies if he’s capable of this sort of performance.

I believe it was in the Woody Allen documentary that PBS made where one of his actors said that Woody is very open about letting the actor interpret the lines and even change them, but that his silences would often prompt the actors to stick to the script more verbatim. I think you’ve got a fair hunch, but I don’t know that I ever found Cate Blanchette’s character particularly comical throughout the movie. Also, seeing as films aren’t shot chronologically, I doubt that tactic could really play out on screen.

I enjoyed this film very much. I don’t think it’s Woody at his best by any stretch, but I would say it was much more appealing to me than was Midnight in Paris. I haven’t really heard anyone bring this up, but Sally Hawkins performance was stellar. I thought she really sold the comedic undertones that kept the movie from being too melodramatic.

I’ll second that.
I’ll also add that I thought Bobby Cannavale was awesome. Re: the comments upthread about the blue collar characters being caricatures, his character very well could have been a caricature if played by a less capable actor.

This was a nice little turn on the update of Streetcar angle: He’s not just a Stanley Kowalski brute of a man- though that is what Jasmine would insist. This “Stella” has a guy who, though rough around the edges- and, admittedly a short fuse- is genuinely a good guy who truly loves her. “Stella” gets a happy ending in this one.

Now, I’ve never seen A Streetcar Named Desire, so I didn’t pick up on the resemblance, but some of the reviews (such as this one from The New York Times) do.

Saw it last night. Good sign for a movie: I did not love it while watching it but like it more and more after the fact.

Not sure if Cate was being very honest in that interview - how could anyone read that script, know how it ends, and think “comedy”? Tragedy with some brief comic relief moments sure …

Disagree with the blue collar caricature comments - they play superficially to our stereotype expectations making their actual depth of character and vulnerability more noticable. Hal was the only real cardboard cut out character, perhaps intentionally soulless but consequently without depth as well. Even the son and the dentist managed to come off as deeper characters (and for the dentist that is a pretty low bar).

Saw it Friday night. Pretty good but depressing. I was glad to see Woody return to SF. But still too many NYC flashbacks.

Andrew Dice Clay does indeed surprise. But Louis CK was a bit of a let down. Too much line fumbling in the scene at the beach with Sally Hawkins. (And his situation was clear from the get-go.)

Alec Baldwin needs to stop playing that type of guy. Time to move on.

I was expecting Dwight to be a hallucination since he didn’t seem to interact with anyone until the scene with Augie. That would have been more interesting to me. (Or to at least have some imaginary stuff going on with Jasmine.)

There was one shot when the sisters and the two guys were taking pictures on a steep street. Was this street used in a shot in Play It Again Sam?

I like to search IMDb for the actors. Many of the guys have appeared on Boardwalk Empire. Chili, Eddie and the Dentist (Arnold Rothstein!) plus a couple extras. The big shock is that the blonde that played the trainer who went to the baseball game with Baldwin. This is her only acting credit. She has a long IMDb entry though: as a reality star! Why on Earth would they cast her???