I put the cart before the horse a few weeks back when I listed Blue Jasmine as one of my most anticipated films of the summer. Mind you, trusting in Woody Allen shouldn’t be a stretch on even his worst day, but it’s hard to tell if the heavily neurotic filmmaker is making a genuine film or simply exercising out his more mediocre jokes on lesser plots. He’s the sort of guy who just makes films without necessarily obsessing over every one. The guy’s got enough to obsess over already, as his writing and onscreen persona will attest.
If we look at some of his more recent successes, a pattern emerges of female-centric singular-narratives (Vicky Christina Barcelona or Match Point) prevailing over male-centric scatter-shot anthologies (You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger or To Rome with Love). Blue Jasmine happily looks to be a member of the former grouping. Much less happy is Cate Blanchett’s lead character, who suffers a major nervous breakdown after her husband scams her out of all her money, forcing her to move back in with her sister, played by Sally Hawkins.
Owen Wilson got much praise for filling the Woody Allen mold in Midnight in Paris, but Blanchett looks like she nails the grand scale emotional meltdowns that have become his trademark. Hopefully the film has more to say behind its neuroses, but never look to a Woody Allen trailer for absolute answers. Remember that nobody had a clue what Midnight in Paris was about until they saw the film? I suspect the best is being hidden safely from view until Blue Jasmine releases on July 26th. Check out the trailer here, and then come back to talk about it!