Woody Allen continues his staggering productivity as a writer and director. His latest film, Blue Jasmine, is getting rave reviews, such as this from David Denby at The New Yorker:
Woody Allen, in his startling new movie, “Blue Jasmine,” has adopted the basic framework of Tennessee Williams’s “A Streetcar Named Desire.” […] In place of Blanche DuBois, the ruined Southern belle who believes in art and gentleness and depends on the kindness of strangers, Allen has given us Jasmine (Cate Blanchett), a fallen Park Avenue woman who believes in luxury and status and depends on the kindness of wealthy men. For years, her husband, Hal (Alec Baldwin), a high-finance eminence, spoiled her. But Hal turned out to be a swindler—a younger Bernie Madoff—who got caught and lost everything. As the movie opens, Jasmine, broke, her nerves shattered, arrives in San Francisco and moves in with her sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins), who works at a supermarket and lives with her two chubby and inarticulate little boys in a cramped apartment on South Van Ness. […]
Allen […] has become flintier as he has got older. His men and women tell one another off; the social clashes among people from different ways of life can be harsh and unforgiving. […] Allen, in his own way, is commenting on our increasingly unequal society: the formerly rich woman and the working-class characters don’t begin to get one another’s jokes and references; they don’t understand one another’s needs—they don’t even see them. […]
Jasmine’s economic slide, to one extent or another, has been experienced by millions of Americans. In all, this is the strongest, most resonant movie Woody Allen has made in years.
And here’s The Wall Street Journal:
[In] Woody Allen‘s “Blue Jasmine” […] Cate Blanchett tops anything she’s done in the past with her portrait of a fallen woman who’s a hoot, a horror, a heartbreaker and a wonder. The mystery of the movie as a whole is that it depicts a bleak world of pervasive rapacity, deceit and self-delusion, yet keeps us rapt with delight. […]
Which brings us back to the mystery of why we’re so thoroughly entertained by such a dark vision of life. Maybe it’s because the truths that the movie tells set us free to laugh at the scariness of it all.
Sounds downright Shakespearean. I’m going. I’m definitely going. And Louis C.K. is in it. Yes.
Here’s the trailer:
And here’s Woody Allen directing the film in San Francisco. He looks good and vigorous at age 77 (Allen was born in December of 1935):