Two sisters; one a blonde suffering from crippling depression and the other a brunette with a fatigued understanding of how to help her. Right off the bat there’s a palpable Streetcar Named Desire vibe. This film however exceeded my expectations tremendously and it weighed heavily on the acting.
Cate Blanchett can do no wrong. The casting and performance of Sally Hawkins as the marvelous foil to Blanchett was a particular high point. Alec Baldwin is very good at playing slick characters as he’s proven in other films. Rounding out what is surely one of this year’s most intriguing casts are sand up comedians Louis C.K. and Andrew Dice Clay, as well as HBO series regulars Michael Stuhlbarg and Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire). That old Dice attitude is present, too, but it is subduedly measured.
Allen directs tautly and dispassionately with less spontaneity or improvisation than in many of his past works. In terms of narrative structure and plot progression, Blue Jasmine is also refreshingly unique.