Woody Allen’s 2013 film was Blue Jasmine, the story of the financial, social and emotional fall of Jasmine, the wife of a wealthy wheeler dealer. I saw Blue Jasmine on a flight and am glad I didn’t fork out the money to see it in the theater. It’s not one of Allen’s finest, though the actors do a good enough job given the script.
After her Madoff-like husband, who we only see in flashbacks when all was well, loses everything, Jasmine moves in with her working class sister in San Francisco. Shell-shocked from the fall, Jasmine hopes to rebuild her life and regain her status. She is ill at ease in her sister’s world and looks down on her sister’s boyfriend, who’s something of a working class caricature. In fact, that’s the problem I had with the film – it’s full of stock characters and although Jasmine spends a lot of time looking back at what went wrong and pondering what she should do next, it’s all so superficial. When the film started, I’d hoped for more, for a more serious version of the heights Allen attained with Midnight in Paris. It’s hard to summon much sympathy for Jasmine as she is delusional and the world she lost was so empty anyway.
The dialog is typical of Allen’s style, but that’s hardly enough to make watching Blue Jasmine worth the time. All in all, I found the film annoying and disappointing. I wish Allen didn’t feel compelled to direct a film a year. Better to spend more time getting the story right, than to offer us substandard fare.