The Skyline View

Blue Jasmine: Why so blue?

Ivan Van Perre, TSV Staff Writer

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Being a huge fan of stand-up comedy, I went into “Blue Jasmine” full of high hopes for the two legendary names of stand-up. Louis C.K., Emmy winner for writing for his show Louie and stand-up special in 2012 and Andrew Dice Clay, pioneer of stand-up and censorship brawler since the 80′s. I thought to myself, “Here’s an opportunity for these comedians to give something special to the cinema world.” Not that they have the duty to do so or anything but because the movie is serious and not a comedy, one would think that was their intention.

With Academy Award winning director Woody Allen both directing and writing it and Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins (both Academy Award winning actresses) as the leads, I was expecting a lot and what I got was, as Cartman from South Park would say, “meh”. I wasn’t wowed or even really impressed.

Clay’s character wasn’t complex but was very relatable emotionally to the “average-Joe” American. In the movie he plays a working-class man who saves up enough money to start his own business and Cate Blanchett’s character convinces him to invest all of it into a Bernie Madoff-like scam. Her husband, played by Alec Baldwin, started a scam off of stolen money from people like Clay’s character. Later he confronts her about how he lost his family and business and she snaps at him with “Can’t you just move on?” He responds with “some of us can’t just move on.” That scene had such potential to have meaning and an impact on the audience, yet all I saw was an almost monotone delivery from Clay.

With Louis C.K., I was less disappointed in the acting, for it made sense the way he played it. The character he plays is an average “Prince Charming” type that sweeps up Sally Hawkins character into a sexual affair, when she is already engaged to a faithful car mechanic played by Bobby Cannavale. While watching the interaction between Louis and Sally’s character, I never felt Louis was ever sincere. This makes sense due to the fact that he leaves her later for a messed up reason. Maybe it was foreshadowing by Woody Allen, or Hawkins’ character is as delusional as Blanchett’s, but here’s the potential I saw it could be. If this average “Prince Charming” was truly genuine and kind with no hint of falseness, it would have been so much more devastating for Hawkins’ character when he leaves her and that raw emotion could have been worked into the story at many later points.

Blanchett amazed me, as usual, in her performance. With her character development of psychosis and schizophrenia and her portrayal of anxiety attacks and alcohol and pill addiction, I was truly wowed and convinced she was crazy and an alcoholic. Baldwin and Hawkins really didn’t stick out too much as well as Allen’s directing or writing. Overall I have to give it two and a half out of five stars for the two facts that Cate was amazing and they got a good casting director to get these names together.

Update: this article has been updated and replaced with the newest version of the article. 3:10 P.M. 10/2/2013

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Blue Jasmine: Why so blue?