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Blue Jasmine

2013 (Woody Allen) 14A, 98 minutes

Sally Hawkins; Alec Baldwin; Peter Sarsgaard; Bobby Cannavale; Cate Blanchett; Louis C.K.; Michael Stuhlbarg

The heroine, Jasmine (Cate Blanchett), is doing her best to keep it together, but there are moments when she talks to herself on the street, and between fits of hysteria she has a way of staring into space as though she were watching a television in her brain. With no money, no skills, and nowhere else to go, she shows up at the apartment of her sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins), a grocery cashier in San Francisco, and attempts to put a good face on things. But Jasmine's demeanor, kicked up by the Stoli vodka she guzzles, is eccentric bordering on unstable, and there's a design to the way she's losing it.

The movie keeps jumping back to the life Jasmine was leading when she was married to Hal (Alec Baldwin), a wealthy, soft-voiced wheeler-dealer who is not what he appears to be. Surrounded by luxury and ''beautiful'' people, Jasmine is in her element: posh and stylish, presiding with sexy confidence over dinner parties and summer weekends in Southampton. In the flashbacks (which are half the movie), she's living a mirage, but it's a dream she's chosen to believe in. When it all comes crashing down, she hates what reality has become, so she simply runs away from it. Even a dashing diplomat (Peter Sarsgaard) who could save her is blindsided by her lies.

Blue Jasmine has a few uneasy laughs, but it's a straight-up Woody Allen drama, and his most compelling film since Match Point (2005).

Owen Gleiberman- Entertainment Weekly

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