“BLUE JASMINE”–A New Film Report
“BLUE JASMINE”—A New Film Report
Dear Esteemed Visitor,
Woody Was My Hero!
Like so many people the same age as Woody Allen (who is seventy-six), I grew up holding him in awe. He was clever and quite funny and totally astonished me in films, comedic routines, shows—and articles he often wrote. I often would reflect: ‘What a talent he has for tickling me with his brilliance!’
But That Was Way Back When!
…Well, the years have passed and– though Woody is still held in high esteem by most critics and film viewers galore– I have to confess—with little pleasure in doing so—that I found his recent movie, “BLUE JASMINE” not that amusing, entertaining or that enlightening. I think Woody has found adulation a narcotic that has made him feel like he can do anything as long as the film boasts that it’s WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY WOODY ALLEN.
There are words we say during the day—we run into people and we say, “How are you?”…That’s a phrase that everyone says because it’s part of civil behavior that we’ve all learned. I think Woody has used formulaic patterns in his new film—but they didn’t work well for me. The actors sounded as if they were reciting their lines—without getting me hooked on what they were saying—or getting me not to think they’re acting.
Art Should Have Persuasion!
And I sensed the scenes were too cutely set. Yes, they were all well done—yet sequences did not follow with any “hooking” suasion. They came and went; and they carried the tale along all right. But they were more like a set of building blocks—stacked: the last above the next below. This is not art so far as involving me goes.
Part Of A Movie’s Thrill!
Part of the thrill of a movie is settling down in your seat and being taken into the lives of other folks. For a while we forget our own self-awareness. We’re transported to something new—which ought to put something in our lives that is true. Here we have a story about a woman who has seen her life rise to a height where her husband (Alec Baldwin) has attained storybook wealth and social prestige. But Cate Blanchett (the film’s Jasmine) is left high and dry when this husband of hers gets brought to his knees from illegal shenanigans. So poor Jasmine must visit her poor sister and sponge on her life. This then brings some conflict into this sister’s life—since her boyfriend is hoping to move in with her shortly. Everyone seems to know that Jasmine is there due to her reverse of fortune and not from love of her sis.
The Fault Lies With Woody!
You know, all of these actors are quite competent; simply, it’s the directing by Woody that does not make any of it believable. But Sally Hawkins, as sister Ginger, and Chili, her loving, frustrated love (Bobby Cannavale) all do a great job in telling Jasmine where her faults lie. Of course, she tells them theirs. Other actors, in the act, too, are Ginger’s former spouse, played by Andrew Dice Clay, and short-time love, Louis C.K…Allen’s done a great job assembling these people. It’s too bad they, apparently, directed themselves in place of him doing it.
Icon! Schmycon! Who Cares!
Woody Allen’s fans will see this film and say they love it. That’s to be expected when you are an icon like him. But for those who look for authentic film making—with emotion winning the day—my suggestion is to look for something better. My grade on this film: a four plus.
Humbler Acts, creator of THE WIZARD’S OUTRAGEOUS SCHEME FOR STOPPING SMOKING, reports one film every week as a relaxation from his speaking and writing on stopping smoking through dream use and Seven Forces. He’s American, English-educated, residing in St. Louis, MO (USA). He can be reached: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 314-574-7681.
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