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Woody Allen writes and directs this comedy drama starring Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin and Sally Hawkins. Broke and suffering from a nervous breakdown, housewife Jasmine (Blanchett) travels from New York to San Fransisco to stay with her sister Ginger (Hawkins). The ensemble cast also features Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, Peter Sarsgaard and Bobby Cannavale.
For more about Blue Jasmine and the Blue Jasmine Blu-ray release, see Blue Jasmine Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on January 21, 2014 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K., Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard
Director: Woody Allen
» See full cast & crew
Blue Jasmine Blu-ray Review
She's so Blu.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, January 21, 2014
There's no stopping Woody Allen. And for cinephiles, that's quite all right. The legendary filmmaker may be the busiest man in show business, writing and directing about a movie per year over the past several decades and showing no signs of not merely stopping, but of failing to make something that's not, in some form or fashion, human, magical, whimsical, and unforgettable. He's been on a major winning streak of late, his last handful of pictures earning well-deserved critical acclaim, including the Oscar-winning Midnight in Paris, the multi-character piece To Rome with Love, and the classic Allen-esque You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger. With Blue Jasmine, Allen has done it again, creating an intimately structured portrait of a frazzled life that requires healing but seemingly cannot mend. Allen has again collected an electric cast, penned a witty and sharp script, and directed his actors to the sort of natural nuance of the everyday that makes his films so good. It's typical Allen in many ways, yet at the same time a fresh approach to a classic tale of recovery and the people who don't always let that happen, including the very person struggling to make it through the hard times.
Jasmine (Cate Blanchett), broke and broken from her failed marriage to New York businessman Hal (Alec Baldwin), has flown cross-country to San Francisco where she's to stay with her adopted sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) and her two pre-pubescent boys. It's a culture shock to Jasmine, leaving the highlife of wealth and privilege for a mundane existence in a relatively small apartment, forced to seek menial employment and fend off mostly undesirable men. The film frequently switches between Jasmine's present life in San Francisco and her previous life in New York, studying her progression across both phases and leading her towards whatever destiny her life may have in store.
Blue Jasmine works as a rather sobering character portrait, the inside track on a woman's life that's uprooted from the glamour of high society and forced into a lower class of people who see her more as an object and less an expensive work of art. And that's not at all unlike her old life in New York. Jasmine, who changed her name to suit her husband's taste, has never really been accepted for who she is, certainly not by New York husband Hal and definitely not by those who seek to take advantage of her perceived vulnerability in San Francisco. The film follows her crumbling relationships and struggling slog through the world as it's lived near the bottom, a world where money can't solve everything, where living proves harder than simply putting it on the credit card and rubbing elbows with a who's who of big city socialites. As she maneuvers through demeaning jobs and a lower class of suitors, she struggles to find herself because the true person inside is someone she's never known, or at least not known for many years.
Indeed, the film's triumph lies in Jasmine's inner reflections and the battle she fights with herself. While it doesn't quite explore that inner struggle to complete satisfaction, Allen has crafted a character portrait that's interesting at its worst and absorbing and emotional at its best. Cate Blanchett thoroughly builds the character not simply through dialogue and interactions with the world around her, but through the nuance of a glance or movement that tells a much larger story than the script alone. She's surrounded by an excellent supporting cast, including Alec Baldwin as her charming but controlling and conniving New York husband, Sally Hawkins as her adopted sister who is herself pushing through a myriad of personal and relationship problems, and Andrew Dice Clay as Augie, Ginger's wounded ex-husband whose life Hal ostensibly ruined.
Blue Jasmine Blu-ray, Video Quality
Blue Jasmine's 1080p transfer looks quite nice. It pushes heavily towards a golden hue throughout the movie, altering colors a bit but remaining consistent to its look in every shot. The Blu-ray presents the skewered but effective palette brilliantly, carrying the day with a glorious reproduction across every scene, indoor and outdoor alike. Image clarity is excellent. The film-like texture reveals complex details with ease. Clothing lines, facial textures, ornate dining accents, and apartment clutter all enjoy accurate, well-defined appearances in every frame. Light grain produces a pleasing theatrical flavor. Black levels are deep, and flesh tones are true to the film's color scheme. No major technics problems appear. This is a typically rich, highly enjoyable Sony transfer.
Blue Jasmine Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Typical of a Woody Allen film, Blue Jasmine doesn't do much with its soundtrack. Surround use is sparse at best and a non-factor through most of the picture. This is a dialogue-intensive picture, and Sony's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless presentation captures vocal nuance accurately and with consistent center-front placement. Light city din and various minor background noises do help shape several environments, but as noted such are reduced to a minimum. Music is airy and clean, generally, lacking generous spacing but only occasionally feeling a bit cramped, which is noticeable primarily over the opening minutes. This is no action-packed sonic extravaganza, but the soundtrack does its job well enough.
Blue Jasmine Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Blue Jasmine contains a relatively brief supplemental package.
Blue Jasmine Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Blue Jasmine represents the quintessential Woody Allen. The film excels with its visual simplicity and character complexities. The script is smart and witty but powerfully emotional in a rather subtle, everyday way. It's much more an inward-focused film than it is a picture that concerns itself with the exterior, using the latter to better define and support the former. It's beautifully performed and nicely photographed, effortlessly combining charm, humor, heart, hurt, doubt, and detailed character study into a complete, must-see picture. Sony's Blu-ray release of Blue Jasmine features excellent video and a Woody Allen-typical soundtrack, meaning "reserved" and "front-heavy." A few brief extras are included. Recommended.
Blue Jasmine: Other Editions
Blue Jasmine Blu-ray, News and Updates
• This Week on Blu-ray: January 21-28 - January 19, 2014
For the week of January 21st, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment streets Captain Phillips on Blu-ray. Other titles include Blue Jasmine, Warner's The Postman Always Rings Twice, MGM's new RoboCop Blu-ray, Magnolia's Bad Milo release, and Criterion's loaded It's a ...
• Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Woody Allen's Magic in the Moonlight - January 9, 2014
Sony Pictures Classics announced today that it has acquired all North American distribution rights to Woody Allen's latest film, Magic in the Moonlight (2014), starring Emma Stone, Colin Firth, Marcia Gay Harden, Hamish Linklater, Ute Lemper, and Jacki Weaver.
• Blue Jasmine Blu-ray - November 26, 2013
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has officially announced that it will release on Blu-ray director Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine (2013), starring Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard, and and Sally Hawkins. The release will be available for purchase on ...
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