Have you ever seen a car crash in slow motion? It may not be pretty and it may be sad, but the choreography of destruction has its own energy, which stains your memory forever.
That’s what this is. Jasmine may be blue, but she’s going down in style. Boredom is off the menu. One liners and silly situations are standard options at Woody Allen’s diner. But not here. Not this time.
The word in the studios is that The Woodman has lost his mojo.
The great days of Hannah and Annie, Diane and Mia, have passed. Scarlett Johansson and Owen Wilson are mere shades, palely loitering. And now Cate Blanchett has joined their throng playing a New York nouveau riche hostess who hits the skids when her husband is arrested on fraud charges and has to go back to basics in a San Francisco low rent apartment.
Despite excellent support from Alec Baldwin as the dodgy Wall Street charmer and Sally Hawkins as Jasmine’s put-upon sister, this is Cate’s film. She is a sturgeon’s egg away from an Oscar shoe-in and captures the vulnerability that beautiful girls carry with them when they grow older.
The plot is shuffled so that time and place are never quite in the right order, which keeps the audience guessing – in a good way.
Jasmine’s fall from grace exposes the fragility of society’s love affair with money. By embracing the phony principles of ladies who lunch she has nothing to replace them with when the wheels come off.
Welcome back! This is Woody’s best since Sweet And Lowdown.