Blue Jasmine – And the Oscar Goes To ….

I will brook no arguments on who will pick up the Oscar statuette for Best Actress at the upcoming 86th Academy Awards ceremony.

For I’ve already made up my mind. 😉

And the Oscar goes to….Cate Blanchett for a nonpareil performance in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine!

Streetcar Meets Madoff

Somewhere in the deep recesses of my cavernous brain was lodged the bit about Blue Jasmine being a modern take of A Streetcar Named Desire, a film I watched with great delight eight winters back.

To that extent, the charm of Blue Jasmine was lessened for me because I knew the direction of the story and its inevitable denouement.

Since it’s highly unlikely any of you have watched A Streetcar Named Desire (Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh), your pleasure in Blue Jasmine will be a lot higher than mine.

It’s a secret only to the most obtuse that we live in an Age of Greed symbolized by crooked rats like Bernard Madoff preying upon both the rich and the wannabe rich.

Woody Allen’s genius is to marry the enduring charm of Tennessee Williams’ famous play A Streetcar Named Desire with 21st century greed to create a remarkable movie that resonates well in these sad, crass times.

At the beginning, we see a broke Jasmine (Cate Blanchette) flying First Class to her sister’s (Sally Hawkins) place in San Francisco to make a new start after losing all in New York.

Husband, love, dignity, money, jewels, furs, homes, Jasmine is dispossessed of all save a few fancy clothes and some nice pieces of luggage.

As the penniless Jasmine cast adrift from her Park Avenue-Hamptons milieu and by a cruel turn of fate dropped amidst the working class riff-raff of San Francisco, Cate Blanchett delivers a top notch performance of a woman floundering in her new surroundings.

And desperately yearning, nay craving, to return to the familiar, safe and comforting cocoon of the upper class.

The drama of Blue Jasmine is in Jasmine’s intense distaste for her new surroundings and the people inhabiting it, the steadfast refusal to accept the reality of her fall and the hopeless pursuit of a return to the old way of life.

Although every single member of the cast delivers a fine performance there’s no doubting that Blue Jasmine is Cate Blanchett’s movie.

And, boy, does she take full advantage of it.

Sally Hawkins as Jasmine’s down to earth sister Ginger, Alec Baldwain as Jasmin’s ex-husband Hal, Bobby Cannavale playing Chili (Ginger’s fiancé) and Louis C.K. as Al, Ginger’s lover provide solid ballast.

One of the disappointments of Blue Jasmine for me was the less than stellar photography (Javier Aguirresarobe). But then I have fallen in love with the master, peerless cinematographer of our times, Darius Khondji (Midnight in Paris, Amour etc)!

Blue Jasmine’s charm is enhanced a thousand fold by the superb soundtrack.

I’ve just purchased one of the tracks in the movie,  Jimmy Noone’s Blues (My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me). Lemme tell you schmucks, this is music that renders the highest ecstasy. I strongly recommend it (99-cents at iTunes).

Blue Jasmine is available at Netflix and RedBox. strongly encourages all ye Bollywood and Kollywood deepthroaters to stray off the beaten path and soak in the charm of Blue Jasmine.

11 Responses to "Blue Jasmine – And the Oscar Goes To …."

  1. fotobirajesh   January 24, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Since La Via d’Adele (strangely translated as Blue is the Warmest Color), wont be vying for this particular category, and since Judith Dench’s Philomena is a British movie, definitely Cate Blanchett’s performance has the chance.

    Excellent performance it was.

  2. shadowfax_arbit   March 3, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Your prediction has come true, Nostradamus! Responds:

    Yes, sweetie!

    BTW, I got your Game of Thrones DVD…Disc sitting in front of me.

    Will probably see the first 2 episodes today (can’t go out anyway thanks to one more snowstorm).

    • boopalanj   March 3, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      I’ve asked for it too (GoT). From my friends.

      Following your guidance, I watched Sherlock serial, and was not disappointed. 🙂 Responds:

      I’ll do a post later on two fine European crime dramas (TV series)…you’ll definitely enjoy them.

      If Game of Thrones is not good, blame shadowfax_arbit! Not me!

      His taste is not that good and frequently he doesn’t think through his recommendations! 🙁

      • kreacher   March 3, 2014 at 7:22 pm

        @ Boopalanj,
        Not sure if you watched the 3rd season of Sherlock.

        That was a bit of a disappointment.

        Cumberbatch and Sheppard are excellent as usual, but the plots failed to match up to the extraordinary standards of the first two seasons.

        • boopalanj   March 4, 2014 at 4:32 am


          Yes, I saw Season three in parts (last one yet to be completed). I agree with you. Moreover, it’s a little overdose of Moriarty. Seems they focused more on the technology jargons and missed the plot.

          Not sure if you saw the two separate versions of Season 1 – first show (A Study in Pink), with one version being longer than the other. The shorter one was not aired, but I liked that better in terms of logic and setting.

        • boopalanj   March 4, 2014 at 4:34 am

          Btw, Sheppard? Martin Freeman, you mean?

          • kreacher   March 4, 2014 at 8:48 am

            Yup. Wonder what was on my mind when I wrote “Sheppard” though.

      • kreacher   March 3, 2014 at 7:49 pm

        Game of Thrones is somewhat wrongly named: the series is based on the fantasy series “A Song of Fire and Ice”, where the first novel is called “Game of Thrones”.

        That being said, the TV series and the books are pure gold for fantasy lovers. George R. R. Martin takes his time to build his settings and characters, and while the books don’t necessarily have conclusions that are good or even well-defined, you are left asking for more rather than swearing at him for leaving you hanging. The books are easily among the longest I have read.

        On a related aside, an Indian group called Qtiyapa made a spoof based on the TV series 24, wherein there was a hilarious quip about Game of Thrones ( Responds:

        Ha ha ha…Not bad (your link).

        Sex, violence, porn – all in one TV series – Then I must watch Game of Thrones anon!

        • shadowfax_arbit   March 3, 2014 at 11:03 pm

          See that video stands testimony to my recommendation!


          I, Me & Myself will soon decide if your recommendation lives up to the high praise you lavish on it.

  3. msveda   March 3, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    I have watched A street car named desire in parts and was seduced, stunned by Brando performance. The movie shows why Brando is considered Godfather of acting.

    He easily manipulated villain character to be more likeable than Leading actress character.

    How is Cate blanchett performance? Is it rivetting, or intense? Responds:

    You’ll like Brando better in On the Waterfront.

    Perhaps the most famous movie scene in Hollywood history (from On the Waterfront):

    Cate is good…seen her in 3 or 4 films.

    Riveting or intense? Is there a difference?

    If there is, I suppose it’d depend on the plot. Dr.Zhivago or Crime & Punishment would be rich, intense plots. Blue Jasmine I wouldn’t categorize as intense.

  4. Ganesh Kumar   March 4, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Did you by any chance eat any relative of Paul the Octopus as part of your meals? 😉 Responds:

    Ha ha ha.

    But in some circles they refer to me as the Oracle of Delphi. 😉

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