Cate Blanchett gives a powerhouse performance in writer/director Woody Allen’s new dramatic comedy. She plays New York socialite Jasmine, a beautiful, neurotic, self-centered and vastly self-deluding woman who, having lost all her money, in desperation has come to stay with her sister Ginger in her modest San Francisco apartment.
Jasmine once led a glamorous ultra-rich life with her shady investment tycoon husband (Alec Baldwin), shown in flashback, and her current wardrobe still tends to Chanel, but she has lost every penny and needs a job. According to Jasmine, Ginger (who is divorced, with two young sons) always chooses loser boyfriends; the latest “loser” (Bobby Cannavale, The Station Agent) was about to move in with Ginger until Jasmine’s arrival as houseguest put those plans on hold. Jasmine’s idea of supporting herself is… to go back to college. Ginger hooks her up with a dentist who needs a receptionist (Michael Stuhlbarg, A Serious Man), but that job doesn’t last long. Will Jasmine, a character as self-deluding as Blanche DuBois, ever learn to face reality? Cate Blanchett is mesmerizing, surrounded by a brilliant supporting cast that also includes comedian Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay and Peter Sarsgaard.