Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine is 'pure movie-going pleasure'
Cate Blanchett is a Blanche Dubois for our times in Allen's best film in years
What you need to know Woody Allen's latest comedy-drama, Blue Jasmine, opens in UK cinemas today. The film stars Cate Blanchett as a wealthy New York socialite who has fallen on hard times.
Blanchett is Jasmine, a pampered New Yorker whose life has fallen apart since her husband was convicted of financial fraud. She goes to stay with her down-at-heel sister, Ginger, in San Francisco, to reflect on the life she has lost, and attempt to build a new one.
Sally Hawkins (Made in Dagenham) plays Jasmine's sister Ginger, and Alec Baldwin is Jasmine's husband Hal.
What the critics like Cate Blanchett is a Blanche Dubois for our times in "Woody Allen's wonderful return to dramatic form", says Stuart Husband in the Daily Telegraph. Blanchett is in full-on tragicomic Oscar-bait mode as the title character, while Alec Baldwin is wonderfully reptilian as her fraudster financier husband.
Blue Jasmine is "the kind of Woody Allen film we once looked forward to, took for granted, then despaired of ever seeing again", says Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian. This late triumph is "pure movie-going pleasure".
Allen's best film in years is "astute, humane and shot through with keen observations on the state of the world", says Simon Braund in Empire. Featuring a powerhouse performance from Blanchett, Jasmine is a work of such incisive brilliance it suggests Allen still has the power to surprise us.
What they don't like "Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire hangs over Allen's portrayal of these sisters, their men and their pasts," says Dave Calhoun in Time Out. There are some clunky working-class stereotypes, but mostly Blue Jasmine is surprising and refreshing. ·