Blue Jasmine @ The Ross

Cate Blanchett as Jasmine

Cate Blanchett as Jasmine

Woody Allen has hit a nerve in his film Blue Jasmine, and that nerve is in the vein of Tennessee Williams’s story A Street Car Named Desire. Jennifer oh, er, excuse me, Jasmine (played by Cate Blanchett) arrives in San Francisco on the doorstep of her sister, Ginger (played by Sally Hawkins) in an attempt to put her life back together (or what’s left of it) after her husband Hal’s (Alec Baldwin) suicide in jail. Jasmine and Hal were the elite of New York socialites only to find their world torn apart by divorce, infidelity, and the discovery of a Madoff-like Ponzi scheme ran by Hal.

Jasmine and Hal (Alec Baldwin) in New York

Jasmine and Hal (Alec Baldwin) in New York

As does Tennessee Williams, Allen explores what happens to a person’s psyche once she has been excommunicated from the very entities and people that made her the ‘who’ of who she is. Yes … sigh Jasmine has had a great fall, and all of Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Carolina Herrera cannot put her back together again. It is interesting that Allen moves out of his beloved New York and settles Jasmine in San Francisco, the leading financial and cultural center of northern California, for her to attempt to put together her emotional and psychological pieces. Allen’s lighting choices of highly saturated primary colors and complementary colors underline the pathos of Blue Jasmine in cool San Francisco. Allen, however, contrasts the experience with soft hues when he cuts to New York to show Jasmine and Hal at the top of their high society game. The flashbacks make for a very razor sharp viewing experience.

Jasmine arrives in San Francisco

Jasmine arrives in San Francisco

Blanchett’s performance is as a marionette lacking some of its strings and controlled by an inebriated manipulator or puppeteer. It’s a bothersome psychological dance, and Blanchett would have done well to consider a crescendo rather than a knee-jerk move into her psychosis. Kudos to Andrew Dice Clay, who plays Ginger’s ex-husband Augie. Clay’s Augie carries a controlled but haunting financial defeat after taking investment advice from Jasmine and Hal.

The Ross logo

Blue Jasmine plays through September 13 at The Ross in Lincoln.

Watch for in-depth Film • Television • & More reviews & commentary.
In the meantime, Catch a film … Share the Popcorn … Feed Your Soul!

Frances Ha @ The Ross

Frances Ha (Greta Gerwig)

Frances Ha (Greta Gerwig)

Limbo. Yes, Limbo.
That space that’s neither here nor there.
The place you fall into after college or some other graduation into another phase of life.
You’re an adult but not quite there yet.
The career hasn’t happened but you’re working on it;
You hold on to the wisps of sing-song youth.
Then, that dull realization.
No one is coming to kiss us out of our sleep.
Ah, Life. We have to wake up!

Frances and Sophie (Mickey Sumner)

Frances and Sophie (Mickey Sumner)

Such is the world filmed in black and white by Noah Baumbach in his warm-hearted film Frances Ha, starring Greta Gerwig. In the frenzied space of New York, Gerwig perfoms Frances, an aspiring dancer, with an over-the-top but awkward innocence. Frances is clumsy, messy, and graceless. She’s irritating yet tolerable; however, the abandonment for adulthood by her best friend, Sophie, played by Mickey Sumner, throws Frances into crisis mode. This break-up produces the true gem of Frances Ha. Baumbach asks and answers the question that HBO’s Sex and the City dared never to approach: what happens when our best friends outgrow us? With treks through Brooklyn, China Town, Sacramento, Paris, France, and an upstate college, Baumbach, with grace and care, drops Frances into her own backyard, and she is smiling!

Frances Ha plays through June 20 at The Ross Media Arts Center in Lincoln.

The Ross logo

Listen to the review on Friday Live! The Mill @ 36:52
http://www.netnebraska.org/interactive-multimedia/none/friday-live-nebraska-chamber-institute-complete-program

Watch for in-depth Film • Television • & More reviews & commentary.
In the meantime, Catch a film … Share the Popcorn … Feed Your Soul!

%d bloggers like this: