Average User Score: 7.6Aug 18, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Maestro Allen (and by this point it's an honorific well-earned) has infused elements of Streetcar Named Desire and Long Day's Journey into Day into this dark comic reflection of the impact of a serial narcissist on everyone around her.
Cate Blanchette's creation of a woman so blinkered by her own needs she can't see around the corners of her own despair is achingly funny and alternately tragic. We know this soul. We all have a touch of her within ourselves (hopefully abated by an ability to bring the needs of others into equal measure with our own.)
Few directors strike and hold a pitch-perfect note of tragicomedy like Woody Allen; if some of his works are inspired by those dramatists and filmmakers who have so profoundly influenced him over the decades (Bergman, Fellini, et al.) Woody has processed their themes through a piercing lens of his own and given us a stark insight into the 21st century malady of self-absorption.
No less touching or amazing is the persistently underrated Sally Hawkins as the sister with the "bad genes"; she may not love herself as much as we hope she will, but she knows how to to live in her own skin and when the realities of this life ultimately take sway over the fantasies of our youth she able to make a stand. Like Stella Kowalski, she may go from one Stanley to another (really more of a "Mitch" in this case) but she will taste the richness of life and be surrounded by love. Conversely, Jasmine must ultimately be enveloped by her delusions until the final exit door slips quietly shut and leaves her in a shining void in which she is Empress in her fantasia realm of self-importance.
* *Spoiler alert** read no further if you haven't seen it! Meditate on Jasmine's next stop after that park bench at the end. The street? Another hospital? Another series of willing victims? I love that Mr. Allen lets us decide for ourselves.… Expand