Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Friday, 09 August 2013 08:29

‘Blue Jasmine’ brilliantly parallels headlines and Tennessee Williams

‘Blue Jasmine’ brilliantly parallels headlines and Tennessee Williams teaser-trailer.com
Written by Martha K. Baker
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

"There are only so many traumas you can withstand before they find you on the street talking to yourself." Truer words were never spoken, and spoken they are, along with thousands of other words by the woman known as Jasmine. She was born Jeannette, but she changed her name, so her name is a lie.

Her very life is a lie, and every word out of her carefully carmined lips is a lie. And she's not the only one who lies in "Blue Jasmine," the best movie Woody Allen has written and directed in a long, long time.

Jasmine is a woebegone wife, the left-behind trappings of a Bernie Madoff-fraud. Jasmine married a finance man named Hal. He is suave and and monied, and he's defrauded many people out of millions of dollars, leaving Jasmine with a trauma and Xanax. Jasmine has no boundaries, speaking to her nephews as if they were grown-ups; she has no idea how to live frugally, so she flies first-class, carrying her, albeit scuffed, Louis Vuitton luggage.

She is forced to live with her sister Ginger, that is, to go from winters in Manhattan and summers in St. Tropez to a down-trodden apartment in San Francisco. She and Ginger were both adopted, so they are not blood. They are nothing alike, but, suddenly, Jasmine needs Ginger and the tables are turned on which sister follows the other. For a while, Jasmine maintains her lead position as she influences her sister in her choice of men and lifestyle.

Jasmine's and Ginger's foresisters appear as Stella and Blanche in Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire." One of the great larks offered by Allen is to find the allusions to "Desire" in "Blue Jasmine." Those parallels are one of the many brilliant cuts Allen makes to this gem along with the rest of the writing and the direction, the back and forth in time to the recent past and space, from coast to coast, from Allen's beloved Manhattan to the foreign land that is Northern California.

The other brilliant moves come in the casting, starting with Cate Blanchette, who has been good, as in "Charlotte Gray," but never better than in "Blue Jasmine." By the end, she looks like Frances O'Connor in her bedraggled, strawberry-blonde desperation. Blanchette is wonderfully balanced by Sally Hawkins' Ginger; Hawkins was so fine in "Happy-Go-Lucky" and "Made in Dagenheim," but she is excellent under Allen's direction. Also worthy are Alec Baldwin as Hal, Andrew Dice Clay, Bobby Cannavale, and Louis C.K. as Ginger's new man.

"Blue Jasmine" ends on the blue notes of "Blue Moon." It is Woody Allen's triumph of pairing headlines with literature.  

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

KDHX Recommends

July
Friday
10

A Muscle Shoals Music Revue with Amy Black and Sarah Borges

Join powerhouse singers Amy Black and Sarah Borges for a soulful celebration of the incredible music that came out of Muscle Shoals, Alabama in the 1960s and 70s. Together, with a full band, they will perform classic songs originally...


July
Saturday
11

Brunch at the Stage: Jonathan Ramsey

KDHX is now curating a Saturday brunch series at the Stage with live music from local musicians and delicious, locally-sourced food and drinks from the Magnolia Café. Brunch at the Stage takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m....


July
Tuesday
14

KDHX Get Down to Business Series: How to Land, and Nail, an Interview

KDHX and Arcade Apartments present the Get Down to Business series at the Stage. Get Down to Business is a series of professional development presentations geared towards the St. Louis arts community. On Tuesday, July 14th, at 7...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

0 users and 11386 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook