You know how I feel about Woody Allen’s films when they are top drawer; it’s hard to beat Annie Hall and a handful of others.
I’ve never been terribly keen on his forays into the metaphysical (except for Zelig), his nostalgia movies, or the thin rehashes of the Mighty Aphrodite ilk. I gave up on the older intellectual man and hot young thing who loves his tutelage storyline after Manhattan.
Allen gets credit for continuing to produce at a steady pace and for continuing to experiment with the form from time-to-time. But, many of the recent films have been disappointments.
Even Midnight in Paris seemed like a one-trick-narrative-pony, though I was gratified to get all of the references and have a contextual understanding of the characters.
Blue Jasmine isn’t so much an experiment as it is a breathtaking vehicle (yes, the pun is noted) for Cate Blanchett to out-Blanche nearly every Blanche DuBois I recall seeing. Not that I’ve seen that many of them. And, Vivian Leigh was pretty good, too.
I generally like Allen’s homage pictures, if you want to call them that. Blue Jasmine is his take on A Streetcar Named Desire, Interiors recalls Ingmar Bergman, and Stardust Memories evokes 8 ½.
This film is more cohesive than most of Allen’s other recent films, the pacing is good, and Blue Jasmine is engaging to watch. I would not classify it as top drawer – except for Cate Blanchett’s performance – but it’s definitely worth watching.