Oh! How I miss the “eggs!”
I’m so blue over Jasmine.
Is Woody Allen frantically trying to tell us that his overactive libido is running out of speed? Has he bedded too many socialites to uncover a known fact; their dependency on drugs and alcohol is more desirable than his p…s?
Or has Woody decided that female characters, in this case the brilliant blue eyed performance of Cate Blanchett as HIS Jasmine is leading the way to an even greater form of co-dependency; the kind that attracts and sells movie tickets because other females want to learn why their lives, like their diamonds, have lost their luster and glow.
Some call this his cruelest film of all. It’s a low blow for high society women who clutch Chanel thinking that money flows even when money ebbs.
Blanchett is Blanche du Bois (again not theater but silver screen) and out on the streets of San Francisco portraying the life of a woman who is down, going out of her mind due to deception and repeated frantic fears due to her own mistake. Having outed her husband and his ponzi schemes forcing his public ruination, imprisonment, and suicide she discovers worse. Poverty and homeless, she is forced to rely on the comfort of her estranged also adopted sister, Ginger, played meticulously with truth and conviction by Sally Hawkins. (keep your on her for an Oscar nomination).
The moral behind this story is sort of like the press surrounding Bernard L. Madoff. Woody must have been so absorbed discovering all the wretched details and accounts of personal loss from innocent people who believed. Yes! Believed that money would make a big difference in their lives. So very sad is the assumption turned reality.
Let’s never forget! “A Ponzi scheme the size and duration of Bernard Madoff’s was only possible if he went global. The magnitude of his financial fraud still holds the world record, with approximately $17.5 billion in losses. Four years of investigation has revealed that Madoff’s Ponzi scheme is unprecedented in its global reach – our work reconstructing the fraud has taken us into more than 30 jurisdictions to date.”
Allen cleverly outlined this theme by pinpointing the signs. Never trust your husband if he says his business is based on global incentives. The real incentive behind the masquerade of their marriage (Blanchett is equally married in character, charm and a performance by Alec Baldwin).. isn’t money… it’s definitely other women. The film opens with Jasmine also known as Jeanette discovering her better half. An adopted sister named Ginger who like her has issues trusting men. Her love of low life types opens Allen’s humanistic support for men… from a harder knock society. A blue collar guy named Chili, a brilliant performance by Bobby Cannaval replaces Ginger’s ex husband, a guy named Augie, The Diceman Cometh! Allen rediscovered Andrew Dice Clay along with the rest of America when the Diceman played a version of himself as a comic looking for a comeback in a five-episode arc on “Entourage.” Coincidentally, it triggered his own comeback, which Clay prefers to call “a resurgence.”
Both men continuously spew their sensibilities and add nails to Jasmine’s coffin by pointing out that she, Jasmine, has the weaker genes even though her self assumed white, upper class sense of aristocracy is a delusion compared to the Campbell Soup Can genes of her also adopted sister. In the end, it is Ginger who has the best genes of all. She shines as a great exemplar for single, middle-class women. In character she wears her morals as fiber juxtaposed her sister’s wares, expensive Chanel silk that worms away her opportunity for a life of redemption. Coupons maybe.
And we are not talking about another expensive home in the Hamptons. This time a young politician, played by Peter Sarsgaard, in a brilliant stroke of casting, is looking for his “Michelle,” wants to get elected, falls head over heals for beautiful Jasmine, queen of serene, and envisions the perfect pick-me-up for a “heads you win” spin for matrimony. Again, another classic insight and maybe newsworthy fixation of Allen’s. A CNN portrait of a wanna be politician who holds greater security then a hedge fund muck a yuck whose family jewels, (private parts) are often caught dipping into bull markets. Run girls run! Every way get loose!
As the story unfolds, sadly, not like the beauty and harmony of Allen’s all time best film, Midnight in Paris, we are stuck on a couch of mediocrity watching a street car pass us by.
Lets face facts. Jasmine is mentally hill, suffers from depression and is addicted to medications and alcohol.
Annie Hall suffered from lack of self-esteem including a poor body image and had less fear of live lobsters. You decide whose your favorite heroine?
And as for Woody Allen…. talk to him. Ask him to speak “shell fish” again.