For last year's Blue Jasmine, Director Woody Allen was clearly inspired by the whole Bernie Madoff financial mess. It's a dramedy about a woman named Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) whose mental state is collapsing from years of fooling herself into thinking her husband (Alec Baldwin) is a good and honest man.
At the start of the film, Jasmine is leaving her once-lavish life in New York to go live with her distant sister in San Francisco. It opens as she is trying to rationalize her living-in-denial life to a complete stranger in the airport. Through a series of flashbacks, we see how she got to this point as she tries to pull it back together out west.
Some critics said the movie is Allen's dig at his ex-wife Mia Farrow, with whom he has had an ugly, lengthy, public falling out. Whatever the case, Blanchett is nothing short of spellbinding as a cracked person. It's no wonder she won just about every best-actress trophy last year, including the Oscar.
As for where Blue Jasmine fits within my list of Woody Allen's best films, I say it's his eighth best, right after Vicky Christina Barcelona and before Everyone Says I Love You.
****1/2 out of ***** stars