Blue Jasmine

June 18, 2014


Consider this Woody Allen’s diatribe against the toxic and wasteful pollutants of his Manhattan. Nevermind the fact that a nostalgic look behind to the 70’s and 80’s of New York City would magically overlook the high incidence of crime city corruption and just outright unpleasantness, now the city is built by masters of the universe who have used capital to turn otherwise undesirable real estate into the landing pads of a plethora of golden parachutes. True, the film’s focus is far and away from Allen’s corrupted city by the likes of well-groomed and eloquent two-bit scammers. Nevertheless, the reverberation of the poisonous quake sent shockwaves worldwide, severely impacting each geography’s ecosystem. San Francisco is no different.


The film follows the downward terminal velocity of Jasmine, who paired herself up with a high-society cheat, allowing her to indulge in what passes for refinement these days. We have flashbacks of these interactions, woven with her new reality of being broke and having to move into the apartment of her fellow adopted sister. Whether out of habit or not, Jasmine does not take kindly to the man her sister is beginning to create a life with. She can do better is the thought, swiping the grease monkey beau underneath the oriental carpentry Jasmine remembers owning once in her life.


Jasmine has not been able to cope with this new world, where she can no longer have conversations on what are the upcoming preferred vintages of Bordeaux and Rhone. She has no one to speak to about the new fashionable summering spots or what the latest play is all about. The closest she can come to is pretending to be an interior designer, faking her way into the arms of a State Department official. She simply cannot accept the fact that that part of her life is now behind her, forever unable to be recovered.


And such a truth is what causes such emotional trauma. It reveals that she has always been destined to be surrounded by grocery baggers, auto mechanics, and general contractors and not hedge fund managers and high-level corporate executives. That life was a farce. It was make believe, despite its realness. It was undeserved and unearned. Starting her life anew requires her to start from the ground up. But it is too much for her to handle the possibility this is as high as she may climb.


Grade: A-



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