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Blue Jasmine


Stars: Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Sally Hawkins, Andrew Dice Clay, Peter Sarsgaard, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tammy Blanchard, Louis C.K.

Director: Woody Allen

Despite great performances, this Woody Allen revamp of A Streetcar Named Desire sorta lost me along the way. There's just too much intensity without any real end product. Desperate lives are foiled of any satisfactory resolution through hugely coincidental events manoeuvred with some discomfort into an otherwise telling script.

But, even if you can't accept these illogical contrivances, you will still find much to appreciate here in the acting. Blanchett is at the top of her game as Jasmine (née Janette), the older of two adopted daughters (we never learn if the parents are still alive) who is on the run - and mentally losing it - after blowing the whistle on her wheeler-dealer, philandering husband (Baldwin) - thought she knew nothing about his shady business dealings? - who subsequently hanged himself in his cell.

Brain reeling on a cocktail of anti-depressants, she turns up at the poky San Francisco apartment of younger sibling Ginger (Hawkins), whose marriage Jasmine was inadvertently responsible for destroying when Ginger's husband (Clay) invested in one of Baldwin's shady deals.

Hope seems to arrive when Jasmine meets a widowed diplomat (Sarsgaard) at a party, but hope is not a commodity in which this film is interested in dealing. And even fantastic contributions from Hawkins, Cannavale as her Stanley Kowalski-like lover, Baldwin and Clay can't disguise the fact that it all develops into a bit of a grind.

David Quinlan

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Colour by deluxe.
99 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 21 Sep 2013