'Blue Jasmine,' Allen's newest film, makes simple-minded class distinctions and his heroine doesn't provoke much sympathy.
Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” opens with a sequence that seems funny but soon plays out in ways that are anything but. A well-appointed woman, Cate Blanchett’s Jasmine, flying coast to coast first-class, is regaling her uncomfortable seatmate with nonstop blather about sex and the good life.
It soon becomes clear that Jasmine is bereft and perhaps a bit deranged. We learn that her moneyed life in New York collapsed when her Bernie Madoff-like swindler husband, Hal (Alec Baldwin), was arrested, later killing himself in prison. Now she is decamping to the San Francisco home of her chipper, down-to-earth sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins), whose working-class ex-husband, Augie (Andrew Dice Clay), had been cheated by Hal out of $200,000 in lottery winnings.
Ginger’s new muscle-shirted boyfriend Chili (Bobby Cannavale), like Augie, resents Jasmine’s high-toned, highhanded ways, which she clings to like a life raft despite finding herself in the demeaning position of having to work as a dentist’s assistant to make money.