Have you seen it...?
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Posted 24 August 2013 - 10:14 PM
Hi, cubanmiamiboy. Thanks for posting. I have not and have no plans to do so before it hits DVD unless I'm really at loose ends. I once went to Allen's movies automatically; even if they weren't that great they still tended to be better than many of the other offerings at the local multiplex. That ceased to be true roughly around the time of The Curse of the Jade Scorpion. Blue Jasmine has been well reviewed but I no longer trust most critics on the subject of Allen so that cuts no ice with me. Cate Blanchett is supposed to be good in it. I hope that's so. Her most recent performances that I've seen have veered between hammy and mannered, not something it gives me any pleasure to say about an actor I admire.
Of course, if I'm pleasantly surprised after seeing the movie I'll certainly say so in this space. Would be interested to hear from people who have seen it, yea or nay.
Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:27 AM
I haven't seen a Woody Allen movie for years but thought I'd go because it was filmed here and is supposed to show "the real San Francisco", and it's always interesting to see a movie about the "real city" you're currently living in and then step outside afterwards and see if it changes your idea of your relationship to your surroundings.
Anyway yesterday I was looking at the New York Review of Books blog and saw Francine Prose's unsympathetic review there. What was amazing was the number and intensity of responses correcting her take on WA and Blue Jasmine. One writer said that Woody Allen treated the Blanche Dubois character better than Tennessee Williams had (sort of overlooking the fact that Williams had created the part). Prose says:
"I’ve always had a certain fondness for films about women breaking down, perhaps because madness has always seemed to me the road not taken. But none of the films I’ve admired—Nunnally Johnson’s The Three Faces of Eve (1957), John Cassavetes’s A Woman Under the Influence (1974), Pedro Almodóvar’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988), and most recently, Mike Leigh’s Another Year (2010)—have made me feel, as Blue Jasmine did, that the heroine is at least partly responsible and is getting what she deserves."
So I think it will be interesting to see the movie with that in mind and see how true that seems.
Posted 25 August 2013 - 11:04 AM
Blanchet does indeed looks mannered here, but then, I remember some women of her character's breed when I was working in a hairdressing salon in Key Biscayne, and well...I swear many of them talked and act just like Jasmine. At times, with their behaviors, there was not difference in between reality and the comedic impersonations of these women one can see from SNL. They were all VERY mannered.
Posted 25 August 2013 - 11:59 AM
I'm sure you're right, cubanmiamiboy, and I see what you mean. But I'm talking about a different kind of mannered, something that belongs to the actor and not to the character.
Hi, Quiggin. Thanks for the link, I did see that review. The fact that Prose says she was disappointed because the movie didn't live up to the alleged high standard of Match Point and Vicky Cristina Barcelona does not bode well. I admit I find the San Francisco angle tempting.
Posted 25 August 2013 - 01:28 PM
Posted 25 August 2013 - 04:36 PM
I saw it twice, already---and am restraining myself not to go a third time
Posted 25 August 2013 - 07:43 PM
I would not call it a masterpiece, but then, considering all I've seen being rewarded by the Academy for a while...
Posted 26 August 2013 - 06:35 AM
I have not seen Blue Jasmine yet, but based on the descriptions I've seen of the film it seems similar or loosely based on the Ruth & Bernie Madoff story, but with much better looking people playing their parts. One of my friends disliked it because Blanchett's character never "grew." However, I think that's the whole point - the wives of the rich and famous have lived vacuous lives for decades, filled with material consumption and parties but without any substance. After living this way for decades, it is too late for them to change once the financial rug is pulled out from under them.
By the way I did see Blanchett in Streetcar at Brooklyn Academy of Music. It remains one of the highlights of my years of theatergoing, and it was a shame that it was never filmed or done on Broadway so that a wider audience could have seen it. Blanchett has said in interviews that she was not attempting to channel Blanche Dubois or her prior performance in Streetcar into her performance in Blue Jasmine.
Posted 26 August 2013 - 09:39 AM
Based on reviews, I've been envious of those who had the chance to see Blanchett's Nora and Blanche on stage when she came to the U.S. with the Sydney Theatre Company.
I would be eager to see Blanchett onstage, period, but as I remember the reviews of performance and production were respectful but rather mixed. Blanchett isn't my idea of Blanche but then many actors who've recently essayed the role haven't been my idea - it seems every Dramatic Lady Star of a Certain Age has a go at Blanche, much as actors used to try Hamlet. Of course one can always be surprised. It's interesting that Streetcar isn't really a Lady Star vehicle - the original stage cast was very much a quartet, with Brando dominating for obvious reasons. Leigh and Brando were more equally matched in the film, but Kim Hunter and Karl Malden made a very strong impact as well.
Thanks for posting, atm711. What did you like about it?
(Cristian, I think the Academy has actually done quite well in the last few years. Argo was no masterpiece but quite a few of the Best Picture winners have been at the least worthwhile viewing and sometimes more than that.)
Posted 26 August 2013 - 10:47 AM
There was an article in the NY Times a few days ago regarding the costumes in Blue Jasmine. Woody Allen gave the costume designer a budget of $35,000, which is peanuts for a film like this in which the characters are supposed to be very materialistic and wearing gorgeous, expensive accessories. I linked the article below.
Posted 27 August 2013 - 07:21 AM
Thanks for posting, atm711. What did you like about it?
I had the best of two worlds -- Tenn Williams and Woody Allen---and Cate Blanchett's sensitive performance---I can't get that final scene out of my head (I won't be a spoiler and go further) He also kept to the subject matter by not idealizing San Francisco in photographing the city. He stayed away from the tourist parts and showed us the underbelly.
Posted 27 August 2013 - 10:21 AM
He stayed away from the tourist parts and showed us the underbelly.
San Francisco's "underbelly" would be the Tenderloin. But it looks like some of Blue Jasmine was filmed in the Mission, at 14th Street and South Van Ness actually a very desireable area for the new tech class. Rents in SF now rival those of New York. The flat in the trailer looked rather nice.
Posted 27 August 2013 - 12:16 PM
As a side note, I asked my mother if she wanted to go see it, and she told me she ceased to like Allen after the Previn affair...never watched any other film of him.
Posted 27 August 2013 - 12:59 PM
I know some people who still boycott Woody films because of the Previn affair. However, Sun Yi Previn and Woody have now been together for a long time and have a few kids together. In fact, I think they have been married a lot longer than most other Hollywood types.
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