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02-08-2013
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Has anyone seen Blue Jasmine yet? I would love to hear what you thought of it!

Here's a glowing review from The Globe & Mail:

Quote:
Blue Jasmine: Great things happen when Woody Allen gets real

GEOFF PEVERE
Published Friday, Aug. 02, 2013 12:00AM EDT
Last updated Friday, Aug. 02, 2013 12:00AM EDT


Woody Allen’s first Stateside production in nearly a decade is a sharply observed, post-economic crash comedy-drama that boasts a formidable performance by Cate Blanchett and addresses such pertinent real-world concerns as class, gender and corporate criminality in urban America. Wow: how many surprises can a single sentence contain?

When we first meet Jasmine, she’s on a plane bound for San Francisco. Installed firmly in first class, she’s in full vodka-fuelled, me-first babble mode – her customary state, as we’ll soon learn – and she’s unloading a bottomless verbal suitcase of personal baggage on the poor woman in the seat beside her. Pray for whomever she’s on her way to see.

That would be Ginger (Sally Hawkins), Jasmine’s working-class, adopted sister, now separated from her contractor husband, (Andrew Dice Clay), and someone Jasmine hasn’t bothered to contact in years. But now the circumstances are dire: Jasmine’s own husband, Hal (Alec Baldwin), has met an ugly end in jail after being convicted of a Madoff-like binge of financial fraud, and Jasmine – despite that first class ticket from New York – is now effectively broke, alone and homeless. That Hal also bilked Ginger and her ex out of everything they owned only makes the new domestic circumstances that much more strained, though not as much as the fact that Jasmine is a patronizing, neurotic, alcoholic narcissist in deepest denial. For most of the movie, she’s seen with her perfect nose poised just above the rim of a Stoli martini, trying to talk herself into another reality. It ain’t working.

While Blue Jasmine wouldn’t be mistaken for anything other than a Woody Allen movie – it’s got the classical medium-shot compositions, the deliberate line readings, the endless babble in apartments, restaurants and city streets – it’s the least Woody Allenish Allen movie in 20 years. It’s been a long time (since Hannah and Her Sisters) since the writer-director took such sympathetic care with a fully fleshed-out female character, and it may be the most socio-economically attuned movie he’s ever made. While the depiction of both the high and low ends of male behaviour may verge on clichéd – if you think Andrew Dice Clay is a thick slab of slob, wait until you meet Ginger’s new boyfriend Chili (Bobby Cannavale) – it works because this is ultimately about what happens when women are sprung, voluntarily or otherwise, from those roles proscribed for them in conventional male-female relationships.

Smartly structured so that we see precisely how smugly insulated and privileged Jasmine’s life with Hal was, the movie functions primarily as a study of a woman who’s unravelling right in front of us. And this is where Blanchett, so rarely used to full effect, is nothing short of remarkable: as a woman who has never strayed more than a block or two from Park Avenue, who was oblivious to both her husband’s business and extra-marital affairs, and who can only face her new, stripped-down circumstances lubricated by vodka and putting as much distance between reality and herself as possible, Blanchett provides the most fulsomely realized character Allen has installed on screen in his entire career. Just how, precisely, does an actor retreat behind their eyes in quite this way? That’s what Blanchett does: Jasmine’s flashbacks are invariably linked to those incidents that, in retrospect, portend just how false and fragile her entire existence was, and she retreats from each with yet another jolting belt of Stoli. Until the next assault from the truth arrives.

Whether collapsing in despair at the mere suggestion of taking on a “menial” job, lecturing her sister on her propensity for men that are “losers” – unlike, presumably, the winning, high-finance crook that was Hal – or lying with singular recklessness to the Washington diplomat (Peter Sarsgaard) with whom she strikes up an affair after he namechecks all her designer accessories, Jasmine is a Blanche DuBois figure for the 1 per cent era, and her tragedy – for that’s what this is, right up to the end – is that she’s got no idea how to function when she’s bumped down to life with the other 99. The insufferable thing about so many latter-day Allen movies was the sense of hermetic removal from anything resembling a real world they conveyed. In Blue Jasmine, he takes this, cracks it open and frankly observes what happens when a Woody Allen character gets loose in something approaching a facsimile of reality.

Along with race, class is the other issue that is most conveniently and conspicuously denied in American life, and one of the things Blue Jasmine takes as its subject are the consequences of this denial. Sprung from the plush bubble of privilege, where Hal could maintain his wife’s contented obliviousness with a regular supply of booze and bright baubles, Jasmine is so utterly unequipped to live in the world, she’s like a captive zoo animal set disastrously free in the wilderness. By the time we reach the end, as bleak a conclusion as even Allen has ever dared, Jasmine’s once again sitting beside someone who’d rather she just shut up. Only this time we know she never will – she can’t – and it’s a far cry from a park bench to first class.

© 2013 The Globe and Mail Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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03-08-2013
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I too greatly appreciate Woody Allen films - even when they are really bad! The reason I enjoy them is I find many American films very homogeneous but his films seem to come from another POV. And the scenery is 2D4.
My favourites are Hannah & Her Sisters; Crimes & Misdemeanors; & Bullets over Broadway. I also loved Everybody Says I Love You & I hate hate hate musicals but I luv Ed Norton!
I recently saw Melinda & Melinda & it too was entertaining.

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06-08-2013
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career advice from woody:

video here:

http://www.businessinsider.com/caree...n-films-2013-8

business insider

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Fashion: Don’t you recognize me? Death: You should know that I don’t see very well and I can’t wear glasses. Fashion: I’m Fashion, your sister. Death: My sister? Fashion: Yes. You and I together keep undoing and changing things down here on earth although you go about it in one way and I another. Giacomo Leopardi, “Dialogue Between Fashion and Death.”abridged
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10-08-2013
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This week I watched Crimes and Misdemeanors and Hannah and Her Sisters, I enjoyed both very much! I like how flawed many of his characters are yet the dialogue makes it real and genuine and you can feel sympathetic towards them despite their flaws.
some dialogue made me laugh out loud, his humour is subtle but really funny

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12-08-2013
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I just watched interiors and I loved it, it was very melancholic but I found compelling to watch. My brother thought Diane Keaton's character was annoying, I think because of how cynical she was on life, but I liked her character.

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12-08-2013
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Oh I love the ending of Interiors - it's so dramatic. With that torrid sea and sky, and the "new mother" in red, like a raging demon clashing with all that calm beige and grey, but one who is also, ultimately, a saviour. It's a very interesting film. That scene when Geraldine Page goes about perfectly taping door and window frames before she turns on the gas! Yes, many of the characters are rather morose, but to me there's a truth to some of that angst, questioning one's calling in life. Maureen Stapleton adds such a joyous spark to the film, though, by revealing one of Woody's perpetual themes evident in several of his films (sometimes explicitly, like in Everyone Says I Love You: "Enjoy yourself; it's later than you think / enjoy yourself, while you're still in the pink..."

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Fashion: Don’t you recognize me? Death: You should know that I don’t see very well and I can’t wear glasses. Fashion: I’m Fashion, your sister. Death: My sister? Fashion: Yes. You and I together keep undoing and changing things down here on earth although you go about it in one way and I another. Giacomo Leopardi, “Dialogue Between Fashion and Death.”abridged
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14-08-2013
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A couple cool links from Film.com

1. A retrospective of Woody Allen film posters entitles "graphic neuroses"

http://www.film.com/movies/the-art-h...-movie-posters

2. 50 films of Woody - from worst to best (in this writer's opinion only, of course)

http://www.film.com/movies/ranked-wo...-worst-to-best

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Fashion: Don’t you recognize me? Death: You should know that I don’t see very well and I can’t wear glasses. Fashion: I’m Fashion, your sister. Death: My sister? Fashion: Yes. You and I together keep undoing and changing things down here on earth although you go about it in one way and I another. Giacomo Leopardi, “Dialogue Between Fashion and Death.”abridged
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16-08-2013
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Last night I saw Midnight in Paris & it is a lovely gentle film. The scenery & music are wonderful & I like Owen Wilson although he struggles when he has to be normal & serious. My only regret is that Rachel McAdams played a mean girl - all grown up to be shallow & boring. She deserves so much more - imo. This is a great pick me up film.


Last edited by kelles; 16-08-2013 at 02:40 PM. Reason: typo
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16-08-2013
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Woody has a staring role in John Turturro's new film called Fading Gigilo; it's got quite a cast, including Vanessa Paradis and Sharon Stone as well!


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Fashion: Don’t you recognize me? Death: You should know that I don’t see very well and I can’t wear glasses. Fashion: I’m Fashion, your sister. Death: My sister? Fashion: Yes. You and I together keep undoing and changing things down here on earth although you go about it in one way and I another. Giacomo Leopardi, “Dialogue Between Fashion and Death.”abridged
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19-08-2013
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i saw Blue Jasmine tonight and loved it. i found it hilarious in some moments and heartbreaking in most. i purposely didn't read much before seeing it, as i prefer to absorb myself in the discovery of the story as it unfolds. it was a wonderful surprise.

definitely, for me, one of the best - if not the best - of his films in the last few years.

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24-08-2013
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I think Allen is a genius albeit somewhat inconsistent. But I've found enjoyment even in his fluff movies (Scoop, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, Everyone Says I Love You etc). That said in response to the questions in the original post:

What's your favourite Woody film? Or which do you think are his best?
It's hard.... I'll say Crimes and Misdemeanors and Match Point, which I see as sort of bookends that deal with similar issues and questions. I think Match Point got more into the idea of randomness within that question of getting caught. I remember when I was in high school we were discussing Crimes and Misdemeanors in the context of Machiavelli. And later that same year the film came up in a discussion about Crime and Punishment. I don't think Match Point had been made then. In both of those films people you wouldn't normally be afraid of (they're not criminals, they have no history of violence, they're respected, productive members of society) do terrible things. They commit their crimes as a result of a threat to something they value and because of their privileged position as a "good" person, they get away with their crimes.
*highlight to see there may be spoilers*

I guess that idea interests me. We really feel comfortable or uncomfortable with people based on very superficial factors. Does s/he have a job? a family? Then s/he must be "good". Does s/he have a criminal record? a substance abuse problem? S/he must be "bad". The films illustrate the obvious fallacy in that thinking (you never know what happens behind closed doors). But more than that they ask if their characters are evil on the basis of a single action.

What do you love about his movies?
I like the neurosis that he often depicts. And the themes of alienation and infatuation that I often see in his work. I like that he can get some of the best living actors in a film doing their best work. And I like that it can make me think and make laugh- sometimes even at the same time!

What don't you like?
I often have a problem with his female characters. I tend to get the sense that they're one dimensional and serve as a plot point or a step along the journey of the male protagonist, rather than that they're fully developed people. I also sometimes think his work comes across as male fantasy. I noticed it the most in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, but I've taken issue with it in other films as well.

How are his films unique in current cinema offerings, in your opinion?
I suppose that's several questions really. There are his older films which can be considered in the context of their contemporaries, as well as today's cinema; and then there are his newer films which can be looked at in the context of other current cinema. I think a blanket answer is that they (usually) don't talk down to their audience. I think Allen tends to be fairly self aware: he knows that he's assuming a certain degree of literacy on the part of his audience (see post #2 for some of the allusions in his work) and that it can come off as pretentious. Sometimes he makes fun of that very quality. But he's not afraid to present a movie for adults: no explosions, chances of a happy ending are 50/50, and it may just be a lot of people discussing ideas. I'd say in today's blockbuster oriented landscape that's rather unique.

I'll just note that I haven't seen Blue Jasmine yet. I really want to!


Last edited by lostgirl; 24-08-2013 at 02:47 AM.
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29-09-2013
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This is quite cute...


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02-10-2013
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Ive seen Blue Jasmine twice, and I loved it what discouraged me was how both times I saw it (once with my ex the other with my two good friends) they said Cate character reminded them of me lol

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01-12-2013
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It's Woody's 78th birthday, today December 1st, so here are some links!

Woody's Ladies and their fashion sense - video in the link:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/1...n_4368115.html

Five books that Woody likes:

http://fivebooks.com/interviews/woody-allen-on-memory

A few of Woody's favourite things:

http://flavorwire.com/427609/a-brief...avorite-things

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Fashion: Don’t you recognize me? Death: You should know that I don’t see very well and I can’t wear glasses. Fashion: I’m Fashion, your sister. Death: My sister? Fashion: Yes. You and I together keep undoing and changing things down here on earth although you go about it in one way and I another. Giacomo Leopardi, “Dialogue Between Fashion and Death.”abridged
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01-12-2013
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Woody Allen on life :



Woody Allen on death :



"7 Signs You're Living in a Woody Allen Film :

http://www.policymic.com/articles/75...dy-allen-movie

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Fashion: Don’t you recognize me? Death: You should know that I don’t see very well and I can’t wear glasses. Fashion: I’m Fashion, your sister. Death: My sister? Fashion: Yes. You and I together keep undoing and changing things down here on earth although you go about it in one way and I another. Giacomo Leopardi, “Dialogue Between Fashion and Death.”abridged
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