Woody Allen's BLUE JASMINE is a good movie with a great, Oscar worthy performance by Cate Blanchett who stars as a Park Avenue wife who's reduced to poverty when it turns out her rich wall street husband is a con man and a crook.
BLUE JASMINE is not a comedy. It's more like a tragedy with small touches of almost painful humor. The movie made me cringe a lot--it's hard to watch a woman coming undone.
Jasmine (to her seat mate on a plane): "He met me at a party and swept me off my feet."
Numerous flashbacks show Jasmine when she was married to a Bernie Madoff type played by Alec Baldwin. Now she has nothing and moves to San Francisco to stay with her working class sister who's played by Sally Hawkins.
Sister: Jasmine. Oh my god.
Jasmine: Look at you. Your place is homey. The flight was bumpy. The food was awful; I mean you'd think, first class.
Sister: I thought you were tapped out.
Jasmine: I'm dead broke. The government took everything.
Sister: All I can say is you look great.
Jasmine: Now, who's lying.
Jasmine is depressed, desperate and afraid. She lies to everyone including herself. She drinks too much and pops too many Xanax. On top of it all, she's a snob who talks too much.
And yet I cared about her and wished for an end to her pain though I knew that wasn't likely.
Jasmine to her sister's two young boys: "Anxiety, nightmares, and a nervous breakdown. There's only so much trauma a person can stand before they take to the streets and start screaming."
Watching BLUE JASMINE is an unsettling experience, but I'm glad I saw it, because Cate Blanchett has created a character I will never forget.
Matt Damon stars as max in ELYSIUM, a so so science fiction film from the director of DISTRICT 9.
The year is 2154. Earth is an urban ruin full of poor people, a police state where the cops are robots.
Robot: Immediate extension of parole duration.
Max: No, no, no!
Robot: Elevation of heart rate detected. would you like a pill?
Max (making his voice sound mechanical): No, I am OK. Thank you.
Robot: Are you being sarcastic and/or abusive?
The privileged people live on a giant space station, a 19 minute shuttle ride from earth.
I like the setup and the concept of ELYSIUM, and the two worlds it creates are rich with vivid details.
But the plot of this film is standard issue action film with too many logical holes, too much sentimentality, and way too many poorly shot and edited fight scenes.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now firstname.lastname@example.org