Movie: Blue Jasmine
What it’s up for: Leading Actress, Supporting Actress, Original Screenplay
I am looking at this movie as a piece of art defined solely by the artistic definitions and parameters that are applied to films and cinema. I am not going to look at it based on the moralities of those involved in making it. That’s not what defines a piece of art. Bad people have been making art since art began and whether or not that art is good should be based on the qualities that define “good art” in that medium. There are plenty of articles around the internet discussing the idea of “when bad people make good art”, so Google it and let’s move on.
I really enjoyed Midnight in Paris and that was my first exposure to Woody Allen’s style. So, I went into this movie with reasonable expectations.
Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins play the two sisters Jasmine and Ginger, respectively. Jasmine has lost everything because of a financial scandal involving her husband (played by Alec Baldwin) and is moving in with Ginger to try and start a new life in San Francisco. The sisters aren’t very close – and aren’t even related (they were both adopted) – and Jasmine’s husband caused Ginger and her ex-husband to lose a lot of money. Thus, the drama is born.
The actual script – as in the words being spoken – is UNBELIEVABLY boring. There are a few great one-liners, but besides that, I couldn’t believe how much the movie just dragged on. That being said Cate Blanchett did an AMAZING job as Jasmine. I actually shed a tear for her at the end. Jasmine struggles with a mental breakdown or disability throughout the film and it is amazing to watch Cate go back and forth between lucidity and lack of understanding. Sally Hawkins is interesting as her sister and plays an unusual type of character but she’s not as memorable.
Although the script itself is boring, the way the screenplay is structured creates a really interesting and engaging flow through the film. They use flashbacks and cuts between different characters to explain what happened in the past, but they don’t do it all at once. It stretches throughout the movie, adding depth to each act. I actually really enjoyed that aspect of the film and agree that it creates a nomination-worthy screenplay, despite the weak script. (Although, honestly, I think the script was purposefully “weak” to sort of connect to what was happening in the movie. I don’t really know how to explain that thought well…I really did think it was pretty boring.)
This is not a movie I would watch over and over again. I’m glad it was only 98 minutes long. But, Cate Blanchett’s character is very memorable and different from your average leading actress role.
Leading Actress: I think this is gonna be a close bet between Meryl and Cate.
Supporting Actress: I think Sally Hawkins is a “possible” just because the Academy has a weakness for Woody Allen
Original Screenplay: Possible…but I don’t think it deserves the win with such a boring script