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Blue Jasmine – I Saw You Standing Alone…

blue_jasmine

The map of Woody’s New York tracked his own meandering transformation from outsider to insider. The finest of his east coast films rise as landmarks that climb ever higher on the city’s skyline marking his own ascent to Manhattan’s best addresses. He reached the peak of that exclusive plateau where he wanted to be — and then, after finally arriving, he left it. Now in Blue Jasmine he looks back and condemns the club he so badly wanted to join and in so doing has made his best film since Crimes and Misdemeanors. Blue Jasmine is the first of Allen’s late-career films to revisit potent themes of conscience, money and morality — his trademark obsessive questioning which got diluted after more mundane personal anxieties consumed his loftier philosophic ones.

Many fans of Woody Allen’s films were shocked to find a man of seemingly high moral character take such a dramatic fall when he fell in love with, and married, the sister of his own son (Soon-Yi Previn the adopted daughter of his 12-year paramour, Mia Farrow). After that, Allen’s films ceased to seek such stringent moral probing. Perhaps he felt like a hypocrite. After that, Allen’s films ceased to seek such stringent moral probing. Perhaps he felt like a hypocrite. Perhaps he was trying to rationalize and resolve his own behavior with his sense of right and wrong. Either way, he seems to have finally reconciled it in his own mind and has returned, with Blue Jasmine, to the much-needed moral high ground, but this time there is no fuzzy ambiguity, no internal debate about whether murder is still a crime if no one ever catches you. What Bernie Madoff and the other banksters of Wall Street did to the working class was wrong. Period. Wrong when measured against the law, wrong when measured against our collective sense of justice.

BLUEJASMINE1

Throughout much of Woody Allen’s film career his view of the upper class has been one of detached adoration. The worst crime for the young redheaded kid from Brooklyn would have been to never escape his middle class roots, to never become part of the upper east side, to always be one of the schlubs who ride the “ugly train” in Stardust Memories.

Indeed, he’s never much cuddled up to the well educated — or pseudo intellectuals who pepper his films (“I love being reduced to a cultural stereotype”) but over the years his films began to revolve around the upper crust, even if it was just to show their weaknesses. In Blue Jasmine, however, he seems to have come to the conclusion that the whole lot of them should be overthrown, French revolution style.

It is a mistake, as some have done, to compare Blue Jasmine with Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire. And it’s all too easy to see Jasmine (in the kind of potent performance that Cate Blanchett herself may never top) as Blanche. After all, Blanchett already played Ms. DuBois on Broadway before taking on Jasmine. But to view it that way is to completely miss the whole point of Jasmine and Allen’s film. Blanche DuBois represented beautiful things in a dying world. Stanley Kowalski was representative of the vulgarity of the modern world. Blanche is partly the fallen South, yes, but she is more than that. Perhaps she is a fraud and a dreamer and someone who prefers fantasy, just as Jasmine does, but to be clear — one is to be pitied and the other deserving of her punishment.

cateb

The biggest difference is that Jasmine would like to be a tragic, sympathetic flower like Blanche — but in fact she is a viper. It is no one’s fault but her own that she is in the mess she’s in. Unlike Stella in Streetcar, Jasmine’s sister is not simply a woman brought down from the upper class to marry a common man. Jasmine’s sister Ginger was exiled into that class partly due to her own sister’s actions. Jasmine screws Ginger over — but Blanche never does any such thing to Stella. In fact, if anything, the opposite is true. Stella chooses Stanley and her raw earthly delights over her sister’s more cultivated path.

As Jasmine, Blanchett reaches so far down and comes up with such an original, breathtaking character, she may be Allen’s most throughly realized heroine since Annie Hall. Allen has always been at his best when his films center around women. Another Woman starring Gena Rowland is one of his most underrated films. Of course, you’ll see the perfect example of Allen’s class escalation with that film; it is as though he has finally merged to that world of university professors, good wine, beautifully designed homes in Connecticut; and of course, in reality, he has.

Blanchett’s Jasmine is someone who is barely clinging to sanity and in fact is given to fits of talking out loud, reliving the memorable moments of her former life. She’s a babbler on the road to all-out madness. The film is deceptive in its focus on Jasmine because you naturally assume she’s meant to be a sympathetic character. But just as we are drawn in to the lead character’s plight in Crimes and Misdemeanors, so to are we drawn in to Jasmine’s own self-delusion about who she really is and how she got there. The more we see, the less we like.

Were it not for Blanchett’s marvelous performance, which will go down in film history as one of the best ever, the film might have been a light-ish satire on the 1%. But Blanchett lifts it into balls-out drama; there is no wiggle room here. Allen is being very specific about who got screwed over in the Bernie Madoff fiasco and it certainly wasn’t Madoff’s wife.

Blue Jasmine vaults to become one of the best films of 2013, and certainly among Woody Allen’s best, though it probably won’t be a favorite since it isn’t really funny so much as tragic. But we need films like this to remind us of what we lived through, what we’re still facing, who we’ve become as a nation, which people should be held accountable, and how much indecent greed should deemed unacceptable in a just society. No, it isn’t Blanche Dubois who mirrors Jasmine so much as Marie Antoinette.

The cast is flawless across the board this time around, which isn’t always the case in Allen’s films. Andrew Dice Clay as Auggie is a revelation. With his greased back hair, his humble demeanor we assume Allen is making his typical fun of this lower class heathen. But he isn’t really. Of all of the characters, the only two who come off admirably in the film are Auggie and Ginger (a wonderfully vulnerable Sally Hawkins).

There is a distinct class of extraordinary actresses working today and none of them are under the age of 30. Meryl Streep is one. Viola Davis, another. Glenn Close, Nicole Kidman, Judy Davis, to name a few. But Cate Blanchett is right at the top of that list. She should have won the Oscar for her portrayal of Bob Dylan in I’m not There. I don’t know if she’ll win for Blue Jasmine — she very well might — but whether she gets a trophy for it or not, whether the voting Academy falls in love with her this year or not, nothing can take away from this moving, funny, brutal and at times, gorgeously ugly performance.

It stings that both leads in this film had to come from other countries — Blanchett from Australia and Hawkins from England — only insofar as it reflects the sad fact that here in America we now breed our starlets to be hot young things. We pluck them fresh, serve them raw, chew them up, then spit them out. If they happen to also be good actresses (Jennifer Lawrence) all the better. How refreshing to see Ms. Hawkins with her big teeth and her long legs — could an American actress so quirky have ever gotten in the door?

Most directors when they get to Woody Allen’s stage of their career are mostly played out. That’s probably because they begin to lean on what their audiences expect. Or they become like Frances Ford Coppola and spin off in many other experimental directions to the frustrations of their fans. But with Woody Allen, what we see on film, whether he will ever admit it in interviews or not (he won’t) is a man ruminating, meditating forever, on the human condition. If that is your ultimate aim as an artist you will never run out of things to say. Midnight in Paris was a revelation about nostalgia — how we spend too much time indulging in our imaginary past. Blue Jasmine is about self-delusion — and greed. In a way, it is an examination of Woody Allen’s own life – he wanted what he wanted when he wanted it without thinking of the consequences. But Jasmine suffers the consequences for her misdemeanors, and pays dearly for her crimes.

80 Comments on this Post

  1. Many actors and actresses are so overrated these days, with Jennifer Lawrence being the worst culprit, but Cate Blanchett deserves all the praise she gets and i hope she wins Best Actress next year. It may redeem the academy’s total fail in giving JLaw the prize for a completely average performance in an even more average film!

  2. frankieJ

    So glad you loved it as much as I did, Sasha. The naysayers (and so far they’re few) are starting to chime in with their glass-half-empty, film-knowledge-challenged negativity.

    One minor correction: Blanchett didn’t pay Blanche on Broadway–it was a BAM. It should have made it to Broadway but they were touring it. It stands as one of the most extraordinary stage performances I have ever witnessed. And Cate as Jasmine is up there with the best screen perfs.

    Link to my review, if you’re interested:

    http://www.newyorkcool.com/archives/2013/July-August/film-reviews.htm#jasmine

  3. steve50

    So glad to hear these great reports on Blanchett’s performance. She’s one of, if not the, best working right now and I’m thrilled someone has given her a lead role to run with.

    Can’t wait to see this.

  4. I still don’t think she can ever top I’m Not There. Not that final stare down the camera lens. But then Cate Blanchett has a knack of outdoing even the loftiest of expectations, which have a knack of coming from me.

    Staring into your soul:

    http://static.rogerebert.com/redactor_assets/pictures/scanners/im-not-there-ode-to-joy/intcb.jpg

    http://www.laineygossip.com/Content/images/articles/cate%20button%201%20sep08_edited-1.jpg

  5. Love her so much and just from the trailer I felt this could be her role of a lifetime and one that we’ll remember forever. Very much looking forward to seeing this!

  6. Bryce Forestieri

    Can’t wait to read your lengthy review Sasha, after I see the movie! :)

  7. Jpns Viewer

    “We pluck them fresh, serve them raw, chew them up, then spit them out.”

    Side note first: If there was no spitting out, it would remind me of Japanese (sliced) raw-fish cuisine (sashimi)…. xD
    Anyway, seriously: that’s poetically delectable prose — content aside. Simple and candid; unpretentious and beauteous. I could really feel its rhythm/meter and dance to it like a good song…. Kudostorm, Sasha!

    Re Blue Jasmine, […] someone who’s usually been looking forward to Woody Allen films, I find that your admiration for Blue Jasmine simply helps […] confirm in a good part my confidence in this new piece. The Oscar future seems bright to the wonderful actress Cate Blanchett as well. (She probably will need a new pair of shades for it.) Not to mention other cast members and other related departments.

    Good to see him (Allen) back.

    And as usual, thanks for a good read, Sasha.

  8. rouge en rouge

    “Blanchett’s marvelous performance, which will go down in film history as one of the best ever”

    I’ve seen this before, maybe last year or the year before that or the year before that or the year before that or…

  9. Now in Blue Jasmine he looks back and condemns the club he so badly wanted to join and in so doing has made his best film since Crimes and Misdemeanors.

    I only read this far for fear of spoilers but I’m desperate to see this and that quote makes me even desperater. Because of where I live I might have to cheat. But I’m so excited about everyone embracing Dice again (or more like for the first time). And of course I’m a Woody Allen fan. When they said he gave Dice a role I was beside myself because I knew Dice could do it. He just needed a chance. :D

  10. Bob Burns

    Brilliant writing, Sasha, from both David and I….. I’ve been reading this aloud to him…. a pleasure.

    Thank you

  11. Sasha, Blanchett have one of the best performances of all time? Is that just pure love for the character or is she really THAT amazing? And Andrew Dice Clay played an admirable character and was a revelation? I sort of want to call bullshit…but for you to say that he must have given the performance of his career. Is it a Mickey Rourke “Wrestler”-level performance? Either way I was always meh about Woody Allen, always cautious about which movies I wanted to see of his in theaters. Whatever doubts I had, I’m pretty sold on seeing this.

  12. Steven Kaye

    Oh, come on. Woody Allen did NOT marry his stepdaughter. How the hell could he? It’s sad to see someone who professes to be a fan perpetuating this defamatory piece of misinformation.

  13. Wasn’t it Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter? Wouldn’t that still be his step daughter?

  14. charlotte

    Jennifer Lawrence “the worst culprit” give me a fucking break. Enough already. Not according to the critics who have been giving Lawrence great reviews since “The Burning Plain”…long before “Winter’s Bone”, “The Hunger Games”, “Silver Linings Playbook”.

  15. Steven Kaye

    No, because Mia Farrow and Woody Allen were never married. Never even lived together.

  16. SpillinT

    Yay, another ethnic-people-less Woody Allen movie!

  17. Really? NO ethnic actors and actresses? Off the top of my head just some of his last few films…

    To Rome With Love: Penelope Cruz, Alessandra Mastronardi

    Vicki Christina Barcelona: Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem

    Melinda and Melinda: Chiwetel Ejiofor

  18. Travis

    Lovely review Sasha!

  19. Bball_Jake

    And for those who havent seen Only God Forgives, I just saw it tonight, and it is the best film of the year. Go see it asap. Such a Brilliant film with stylish violence and every frame is so beautiful and well executed. This is a film where the director is in complete control, and its very satisfying.

  20. Billyboy

    “It’s sad to see someone who professes to be a fan perpetuating this defamatory piece of misinformation.”

    Thanks, Steven. Was about to post the same thing. Soon-Yi is the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and Andre Prèvin. Woody and Mia never got married, never shared a home.

  21. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    “Soon-Yi is the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and Andre Prèvin. Woody and Mia never got married, never shared a home.”

    Woody and Mia were just inseparable romantic partners for 12 years — romantically involved from the time that Woody was 50 and Soon-Yi was 7, that’s all. Woody and Mia adopted two other children together, and together they are the biological parents of a son. (all this despite never living in the same house! Imagine that!)

    But, ok, we’ll change the wording of the review to more accurately reflect the facts.

    Woody Allen married the sister of his own son. Because it sounds so much more normal when it’s rephrased to be legally precise.

    (It truly makes no difference to me how their legal relationship is defined. I don’t base the uneasy feeling it used to give me on the presence or absence of formal adoption papers).

    Woody and Mia’s biological son Ronan wrote this on Twitter on June 17 last year:

    “Happy father’s day— or as they call it in my family, happy brother-in-law’s day.

    I think Sasha chose a way to describe the perception of impropriety in as few words as possible — so we could glide past it quickly and get to the point. Obviously the legal elision didn’t work out as planned so now we’ve dragged out all the specific sordid details. Everybody happy now?

  22. Steven Kaye

    Actually, if you want to be precise about it, you should write that he married the adopted sister of his son, having of course removed the word “teenage”.

  23. Woody should make a film every two years. Because every other year he makes a stinker. Sounds like he’s back after the middling To Rome With Love.

  24. Steven Kaye

    “Legal elision”? That’s your term for a blatant falsehood?

    See, here’s the thing: even after all this time, one still encounters people – online and off – who think Woody Allen married his stepdaughter and condemn him for it. Is it so unreasonable for his fans to expect a website devoted to cinema to get the facts right?

  25. GoOnNow

    in less than 2 weeks this performance already has legions of fans, I just really can’t wait!

  26. J.A.H.

    “After all, Blanchett already played Ms. DuBois on Broadway before taking on Jasmine.”

    To be more precise, Cate played Blanche at her own theater company in Australia and then brought the same production to USA.

    Btw, Jane Fonda said of Cate’s Blanche that it is “perhaps the greatest stage performance” she has ever seen.

  27. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    one still encounters people who think Woody Allen married his stepdaughter and condemn him for it.

    Anybody can condemn whatever they want. Nobody around here is condemning Woody Allen for anything. I don’t know anybody who cares what Woody Allen was doing in 1990. I know a lot of people who have no idea who he’s married to and they wouldn’t care if they found out. No matter if you call her a step-daughter or Cinderella, marrying your stepdaughter isn’t even illegal in some states.

    You might have heard that millions of people condemn gay couples for getting married too. Fuck those people.

    Is it so unreasonable for his fans to expect a website devoted to cinema to get the facts right?

    I fixed it, alright? Now can you please give me some indication of how long you intend to crucify me for the slip-up?

    Or does the word ‘step-daughter’ infuriate you so much that you want to make this entire discussion page revolve around the wording Sasha used to describe what Woody did — in order to defend what Woody did?

    Because yes, I see your point. Calling Soon-Yi a ‘stepdaughter’ is the big issue. Let’s try to forget that Woody Allen’s other kids regarded him as Soon-Yi’s father for 12 years when she was 7-20 years old.

    If it’s a bigger deal to you that the word ‘step-daughter’ was mistakenly used and then corrected, then your moral priorities are different than mine.

  28. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Soon-Yi is the sister of Woody Allen’s son. Period. His son didn’t adopt her. In the legal terms you’re so adamant about, Soon-Yi is Ronan’s sister.

    Soon-Yi was 20. Woody Allen was 56.

    “To say Soon-Yi was not my sister is an insult to all adopted children,” Ronan said of the relationship.

    Want me to give you Ronan Farrow’s Twitter ID so you can go argue with him about what term he needs to use to describe his sister?

  29. Simon Warrasch

    Right now i think those Actresses are the Top Candidates for a Nomination AND for the WIN:

    Cate Blanchett “Blue Jasmine”
    Naomi Watts “Diana”
    Meryl Streep “August: Osage County”
    Judi Dench “Philomena”

    Runner Ups:

    Emma Thompson “Saving Mr. Banks”
    Berenice Bejo “The Past”
    Kate Winslet “Labor Day”
    Nicole Kidman “Grace of Monaco”
    Jennifer Lawrence “American Hustle” (If she will go Lead)
    Amy Adams “American Hustle” (If she will go Lead)

  30. Simon Warrasch

    But i have to mention that for me the Best Actress Winner was, is and will be Emilie Dequenne for her phenomenal work in Joachim Lafosse’s Masterpiece “A Perdre la raison”! No other Actress will top that performance!

  31. Beautiful review, Sasha. I appreciate that you talk about the film in such depth without spoiling much of anything. Whets the appetite without ruining the movie. Can’t wait to see this.

  32. julian the emperor

    Personally, I don’t care whether Woody Allen is married to a rodent, a man, his stepdaughter or his manager.

    I’m mainly preoccupied with whether or not he finally delivers a good film (MIP was middling at best) and whether BJ really is such a strong showcase for Cate Blanchett. As a fan of both, I really really hope so. But even a strong CB performance can’t take away the impression that these days Woody is on autopilot (lazy plot devices and stereotypical character portrayals)

    After last season’s J-Law debacle it would be extra fulfilling, though, to see someone like Cate take the golden boy home, and with Woody’s flair for securing nominations for his actresses you never know…fingers crossed.

  33. Kansiov

    Honestly, SLP had such a sizable group of detractors I wouldn’t be surprised if American Hustle gets panned in the coming months.

  34. julian the emperor

    What’s surprising was not its detractors, but its many supporters. If American Hustle is half as bad as SLP I hope it will be trashed by critics.

    David O. Russells’ “quirkiness” is one of the most fake postures in filmmaking today.

  35. julian the emperor

    Btw, Sasha (or in extension, Ryan): How come you have only added Blanchett to the contender tracker, and not the film itself (if you think it’s his best since C&M, it should be a more than worthy contender?). You have also omitted Allen from the original screenplay category, where, naturally, he stands a good chance if the films delivers.

  36. miguel

    My Best Actress Shortlist:

    Cate Blanchett
    Meryl Streep
    Judi Dench
    Sandra Bullock

    vying for the 5th spot:

    Emma Thompson
    Julia Roberts
    Kate Winslet
    Nicole Kidman
    Naomi Watts

    I have never seen an Oscar year that has had more veteran actresses and superstars all in contention.

  37. Filmgoers have been able to separate that ‘scandal’ segment of WAllen’s life and realize that he has the unique ability to write great (Oscar winning) roles for women (Weist/Bullets, Sorvino/
    Aphrodite, Cruz/Barcelona). None of his female characters seem ordinary. Personally, I wish that he’d concentrate on ‘older’ female roles than the ‘modern’ day ones (Rachel E Wood in Whatever Works, Scarlett J in Scoop, Tea in Hollywood Ending) As for Cate – while I truly appreciate the work of Tilda Swinton – I wasn’t as knocked over by her Michael Clayton performance as I was by Blanchett’s achievement in I’m Not There.

  38. Ah, didn’t know they never married. Thanks.

  39. julian the emperor

    If Cate hadn’t won for The Aviator a few years prior, she would have cakewalked to a victory for I’m Not There. I doubt that even those who voted for Swinton (in what was surely a very tight race) thought her work was superior to Blanchett’s, but they felt like spreading the wealth.

  40. Sasha wrote a lengthy love letter to this film. Please don’t hijack it because of something that was worded incorrectly and it has nothing to do with the review of the film, except for the fact that his relationship with Soon-Yi may or may not have changed his outlook on filmmaking. People know Soon-Yi isn’t Woody’s biological daughter but he helped raise her. That’s the most basic way of putting it. However people want to interpret what happened next is on them.

  41. I do think there is something to the training British and Aussie actors tend to go after before coming to Hollywood. In America, it’s rare now to see an actor actually train anywhere, but you can see a big difference in their work and how versatile they are.

  42. What a beautiful text, Sasha! You’re getting better and better as a film critic, which is great, since I never cared very much for the pundit stuff.

    You really excel when you write about directors you strongly admire and follow, such as Woody Allen, Scorsese, Spielberg, Fincher, Polanski, even when I, myself, don’t like them a lot (e.g. Payne)

  43. Steven Kaye

    See, he didn’t even help raise her. Mia Farrow herself has pointed out how indifferent he was to her kids.

    But you’re right. This discussion can just go on and on so this’ll be the end of it.

  44. rouge en rouge

    “in less than 2 weeks this performance already has legions of fans”

    therein lies the problem

  45. I agree with your point to an extent…hence why so many Aussie and British actors are in demand in America. Directors want to work with an actor who at least understands the process/work ethic to create a character…Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Michael Fassbender, Gary Oldman, Geoffrey Rush, are a few that come to mind. All of them have at least some degree of training…

    …although part of me feels like its a generational thing. Many young actors–like early 20s to 30s–are just not trained, regardless of their nationality. Jennifer Lawrence, Carey Mulligan, and Mia Wasikowska are probably three of the top young actresses employed right now (and from America, England, and Australia) and none of them had conservatory training like Blanchett. Regardless, those three women are infinitely talented so go figure lol

  46. I believe kate winslet will win the oscar this year for labor day. Cate Blanchett may be great in blue jasmine, but I feel that Kate Winslet will be even more on labor day.

  47. This makes me excited. After her Sydney theatre days, I worried for what future film roles I could expect from my Cate. Her performance in Elizabeth affected me so much when I first saw her in high school, and she has never ceased to amaze me. She deserved an Oscar with her Jude Quinn, one of the most stunning performances I have ever seen (I was also mildly surprised that the Academy bent over backwards sending nominations for Ben Button but none for her). I can’t wait for this.

  48. WilliamNYC

    It’s true, his movie is always about the rich people of society. I don’t feel any sympathy towards the main character. I will skip the movie.

  49. It happens just about every year, actually, until all the performances end up finally being seen

  50. julian the emperor

    So far, so (pretty) good.
    77 at metacritic after 24 reviews. For Woody (whose films are divisive, after all) that is more than serviceable: Vicky Christina Barcelona had 70 and Match Point 72. Since the two of them both got nominations (for best supporting actress and best original script, respectively) the even more positive reception to BJ indicates that yet another original script nomination might be on its way (which, needless to say, improves Blanchett’s chance of making it into the best actress category).
    On the downside: the fact that the most harsh opinions of the movie are big-name critics like Dana Stevens, Richard Corliss and Andrew O’Hehir.

  51. I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I didn’t read on to see how you elaborated on this quote:

    “Blue Jasmine is the first of Allen’s late-career films to revisit potent themes of conscience, money and morality”

    But my question is, didn’t Match Point address exactly these themes? I just watched that movie recently so it is fresh in my mind. Certainly you would agree that these ideas are in there.

  52. Beautiful writing, Sasha, beautiful. As beautiful, and yes, towering as Cate Blanchett’s performance in a year so far DEVOID of great performances by actresses. She’s the only one

    But more are coming. It’s so early in the Oscar season, not that Woody cares. Obviously, he doesn’t.

    And yes, Sasha, you’re right. He DOES write better parts for women than for men, and he’s seems to JUST be discovering it, now.

    But will she win the Oscar? Depends on how the public reacts to the film which is only being released in NYC and LA at the moment.

    Something this early has to L.A.S.T. And Sony Pictures Classics, which is the distributor, is NOT the Weinstein Co. in terms of Oscar strategy.

    They’ll get her the nomination, but the win?…There’s a LOT of other performances coming up on the distaff side…We’ll have to see where Cate lands when the holidays and the awards start rolling around..

  53. steve50

    AH, the ever-present evil of Metacritic.

    Apply the same scoring technique to another art form, such as painting. Using that method, a Norman Rockwell cover would have a higher metacritic rating than the Mona Lisa or Picasso’s Guernica because his stuff is more accessible/relatable to a broader audience, where the other two would be considered boring or confusing by many, ending up with a lower overall score.

    Math and art don’t mix, to me anyway.

  54. julian the emperor

    I agree with you. Don’t mistake my intentions here!

    But when has the race for Oscar recognition had anything to do with art as such? Metacritic is a perfectly fine tool for assessing what’s accessible and therefore readymade for the kind of recognition the Academy is emblematic of. If you look at Woody Allen’s metacritic scores, for example, you will soon discover that metacritic is a pretty reliable indicator of how his films performed Oscar-wise as well. The fact that Blue Jasmine seems to get a better score than both VCB and MP indicates that its awards prospects are promising. That’s all.

    So even if you shouldn’t mix art with maths, I don’t see why you can’t mix art with awards punditry. Those are two different things. Besides, this site is called Awards Daily, not Art Daily, no?

  55. julian the emperor

    ahh…a mistake there: my point was: I don’t see why you can’t mix awards punditry with maths!

  56. Will she get the win? I think there is a very, very strong chance that Blanchett ends up taking it home and potentially with relative ease. While Blanchett obviously already has an Oscar, she is an actress whom I think the Academy would love to reward with a LEAD Actress Oscar. In my opinion (and with all due respect to Glenn Close, Tilda Swinton and Kate Winslet all of whom I adore as well) Blanchett is the actress closest to that Queen Meryl/Katharine Hepburn level in terms of acting ability. It is truly remarkable how she becomes the characters she plays like those two. In many ways, while she has given many great performances, I think many people have been waiting for her SOPHIE’S CHOICE performance. With BLUE JASMINE it looks like she might have it. Yes it is early but I think she could take it.

  57. steve50

    I see your point and somewhat agree, awards-wise. It’s still more a measure of acceptibility, not quality.

  58. julian the emperor

    In terms of artistic value, metacritic (or any other aggregate site) aren’t definitive or authoritative, no. And there are no finite way of judging whether a movie is bad or good, unless you go and see for yourself! You make the call.

    But that doesn’t mean we should necessarily look down on consensus picks, does it? Or that it can’t be a helpful tool or instigate an interesting debate.
    What’s the alternative? We cannot invent a world where people don’t try to canonize art and historic objects of any kind. It’s in our very nature to sort and compartmentalize our past experiences and cultural artifacts. We might disagree as individuals, but the urge to reach a consensus, to canonize, is healthy, I think, because it has an educative function on a societal (or merely sub-cultural) level. Just as long as we remember to be critical of whatever canon is developed.

    Acceptability is not the same as quality, but remember metacritic consists of a selection of (mostly) elitist tastemakers, individuals who know (for the most part) what quality is, or at least that’s how we perceive them. It’s just that we tend to value a consensus of any kind as a mark of acceptability rather than as of quality. But is a consensus necessarily less trustworthy when it comes to matters of taste? Why is the opinion of 40 prominent reviewers (even if they include Rex Reed) less worthy than the opinion of one?

    I mean, films like Before Midnight or Amour or whatever gets a high score on metacritic, deserve to be thought of as universally lauded films rather than merely good because you or I liked it. That doesn’t make them great per se, but it makes it easier for you and I to know what we need to see in order to take part in a (sub)cultural communication about the artistic merit of films (and/or to know what we need to rebel against to change the current affinities among critics).

  59. steve50

    …there are no finite way of judging whether a movie is bad or good, unless you go and see for yourself!

    That’s as far as one needs to go.

    There are critics with whom I agree and those that I don’t. I’ll read them all, but will take the recommendations of the ones I trust. I don’t rely on an aggregate score that includes people with whose views I don’t respect.

    If Rex, however, goes all squirty with hatred for something, I will take this as an indication that it is something that might be worthwhile. I just don’t his counting from one to 100 with all thought that goes into a game of hide and seek.

  60. Yes we are all supposed to believe she wasent part of Bernies Crime? LOL http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCwR3Gfi1PY

  61. Or maybe they thought her work was superior to Blanchett’s.

  62. I’m concerned that the film has a 6.5 on IMDB. Not very good. It won’t open for me here for another week or two, but I’m dying to see it. I have a feeling I’ll love it. But 6.5. Really???

  63. Paul Voorhies

    Girlfriend runs an Oscar Awards site. Do you really expect her not to be a little histrionic?? And I say that lovingly Sasha. And this is one film and performance that I am dying to see. I think Julie Delpy gave a great performance in BM, but I’m dying to see this one.

  64. GoOnNow

    it’s already up to 6.8 and will keep improving, don’t worry, Paul baby ;)

  65. Steven Kaye

    Terrific opening weekend for Blue Jasmine. It made an estimated $612,767 from its 6 theatres, with a PTA of $102,128. That’s a career-high for Woody (or it will be if it holds up).

  66. Small editorial quibble: Repeated line in opening of reviews.

    My affection and tolerance for Woody Allen films are limited to ones where he isn’t whining such as The Purple Rose of Cairo and Radio Days. This is balanced by Cate Blanchette being one of my favorite actresses working today (all Australian to include Kidman and Weaver) to put this movie on the must see list.

  67. Keil S.

    For an article that’s been up this long and generated this many comments, it still features a huge error in the opening paragraph. The following section appears twice, back-to-back:

    The finest of his east coast films rise as landmarks that climb ever higher on the city’s skyline marking his own ascent to Manhattan’s best addresses.

  68. kailor

    Is a great tour-de-force performance from Blanchett for a role that is so well written and yet so unlikable. Yet you feel for Blanchett’s character as although her character never quite redeems her self, you still have the tendency to empathize for her. What is interesting about Blanchett’s acting in here is that she forces you to empathize not sympathize is quite astonishing. It is early in the season but this could be your Best Actress Oscar winner. I personally think this is her best performance of her career.

  69. Steven Kaye

    It held up!

  70. Keil S.

    Nobody edits anymore before they blog to the world. Maybe because nobody really reads the blogs carefully anyway. And people can comment about these issues, but nobody reads anyone’s comments but their own. And so it goes…

  71. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    We do edit and proofread carefully, but sometimes there’s a slip-up. This slip-up was my fault.

    Do you find a lot of glaring errors in every post, Keil? Or does this incident stand pretty much all alone as a unique flub?

    I’ve been proofing posts at Awards Daily for 6 years and to my knowledge a duplicate sentence has never gone online during the past 2,200 days.

    But your observation that nobody ever edits and nobody reads anything carefully anymore stands as fine tribute to the sort of clumsy hyperbole we all read every day. So if that’s your way of letting us know that you sometimes post careless comments without thinking what you’re saying or caring who you insult — as nearly everyone on occasion can accidentally do — then I appreciate the display of friendly solidarity.

  72. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Thanks for your help, Keil. I mean it. It’s not the first time you’ve caught something I missed that needed fixing.

    Here I am on Twitter. @filmystic
    Here’s my email. ryanadams.AD@gmail.com

    If you see that I’ve not read one of your tips in the future there are better ways to get my attention than a remark 70 comments deep in a post that’s been online a week.

  73. Keil S.

    I’m sorry for the attitude, but I’ve encountered such issues with various pop culture sites that I have visited over the years. I’ll admit that part of it is jealousy that other people doing a job I’d love to have are doing it less than perfectly (which I realize is impossible, even for the New York Times). Plus, I’m visiting my parents this week, which is a biannual tradition that always puts me in a bleak and frustrated mood. Again, I apologize for letting this one incident be the straw that broke this camel’s overly sensitive back.

  74. Keil S.

    Heh, parents, not patents.

  75. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    No problem, Keil. I think mainly it stung most to see you think I don’t read comments — or worse that I only read my own comments. I’d challenge you to find any other movie site where there’s more personal interaction between bloggers and readers.

    [I fixed your typo for you. I fix 5 or 10 of the worst typos in reader comments nearly every day. And never mention the mistakes. Wonder how many other sites — sites of any kind — provide that invisible service.]

  76. maybe in your dreams buddy.

  77. Patrick Cavey

    Hello everyone,

    It’s been about 2 years since I been on the site but I just came back from seeing Blue Jasmine tonight and felt like I needed to say something. I have never been a fan of Woody Allen (although I did enjoy Midnight in Paris). But in my opinion, this is the best work he has EVER done. I went with a friend tonight and my question was this: Should Woody get recognition for the role Cate Blanchett played or should she be solely noticed for having the best performance I have seen from a woman on screen in 8 years. If the consensus is that Cate gets more recognition then she should run away with the Best Actress award this year. If her performance is partially because of the directing of Allen then he needs to be nominated for everything possible. Her break down and change in character reminds me so much of Joanne Woodward in Three Faces of Eve. The fact that she is asked to go back and forth for an hour and half is not an easy character to portray. I think that both Blanchett and Allen bring the absolute most out of this character and it was a joy and a pain to watch. I am anxious to see how far this movie goes!

  78. or maybe not …but more about overdue factor.

  79. “Jennifer Lawrence, Carey Mulligan, and Mia Wasikowska are probably three of the top young actresses employed right now (and from America, England, and Australia) and none of them had conservatory training like Blanchett”

    The young ones who are trained are either still in training, just starting out on stage or playing small supporting parts. Two young actors in their twenties with training in theatre in Australia and who are starting to garner some notice are Elizabeth Debicki (was Jordan in the Great Gatsby and acted alongside Cate Blanchett and Isabelle Huppert on stage) and Remy Hii (in the tv mini-series A Better Man).

    I’m sure there are equivalents elsewhere in the UK and USA – they’re just taking their time and on different journeys.

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