Sony Pictures Classics Directed by Woody Allen 2013
Cate Blanchett just won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in this Woody Allen classic. There was no doubt in my mind she would win because it is one of the most powerful, intense and relentless performances I have seen in years. I was riveted and you will be too.
Blanchett is Jasmine, a former socialite whose financier husband, (played by Alec Baldwin) is exposed as a fraud and jailed. Jasmine's posh Upper East Side existence is pulled from under her in one fell swoop and she is forced to seek refuge with her sister in San Francisco.
The supporting performances by Sally Hawkins as the long-suffering sister, Andrew Dice Clay as the sister's estranged husband and Alec Baldwin are strong, but this is Blanchett's film.
She displays pathos cloaked in bravado while maintaining the most immaculate appearance until the last harrowing scene. I found myself physically wincing in pain with her and feeling her shame and suffering as she follows her trajectory and its unexpected denouement.
This is one of those performances that will stay with you for days. I cannot recommend it highly enough, but it is not an easy film to watch.