Blue Jasmine (2013) Dir. Woody Allen

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The class system in today America is alive and well. Woody Allen takes two women to present that. Ginger (Sally Hawkins) is a working-class single mother, whereas her sister Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) is upper-class wife to a business tycoon. Yet, there is more than just money that makes them so far apart.

Jasmine has many layers we uncover one by one. On the surface, there is a thick layer of snobbishness. She married her way up to the upper class, upper crust of the society. Her husband (Alec Baldwin), a millionaire and a quite nonchalant businessman, spoils her in any way he can (afford). She welcomes all the spoils with open arms. We can see she is a woman with class and exquisite taste, which she gracefully executes throwing the most elegant dinner parties. Yet, there is no surprise she has class and taste since money is no problem for her. Once she is stripped of all the material goods, all the money and luxuries taken away, she is left with almost nothing. Incomplete college education, the suicide of her crook husband, and an overly high opinion of herself loom over her like a storm cloud.

Ginger is her sister’s opposite. She chooses working-class men with possessive tendencies. She bags groceries for a living and has no higher aspirations. She welcomes Jasmine with open arms in her home although she is being scorned and judged by her all the time. What she is trying to do is teach Jasmine how to live a little. In a way, her sister pays her off by teaching her she can aspire for more both in terms of men and job. However, she cannot stop judging Ginger. The shock of living among other mortals is too big for Jasmine to handle.

Cate Blanchette gives a tremendous performance as Jasmine. She can be graceful and ladylike with a hint of loftiness. She can be a social and party animal with a the knowledge of a proper etiquette. She can be neurotic and absent-minded with occasional bouts of hysteria. She changes behaviors like she changes outfits. She is many people in one person. Kudos to Allen for a tremendous movie.

Long days, pleasant nights,

Veronica Bazydlo

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