A working title for “Blue Jasmine” could’ve been, “The One Where Cate Blanchett Perfects Crazy." Cate Blanchett who plays the title character, Jasmine does a heck of a job coming apart at the seams. Her refined, Upper East Side Manhattan character is living the golden life like so many New Yorkers that have come before her.
She is married to a rich, money-driven man (Alec Baldwin) and embraces the thought that ignorance is bliss due to his infidelities and other scandalous ways. After her husband is arrested under financial-based charges and her marriage and lifestyle falls apart, Jasmine moves to San Francisco to live with her less sophisticated, but (blindly?) happy sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins).
On the outer layer, Jasmine is the epitome of refinement with expensive clothing and name brand accessories. On the inside though, she is always on the verge of cracking up. It is the tension she holds within that makes the character so intriguing. The audience is holding its breath wondering at what moment she will fall apart, to what extreme she will take her crazy.
Jasmine tries her best to recreate the persona of the sophisticated, rich lady but honestly, may be more comfortable letting go. She and her sister couldn't be more different, but they both see firsthand that money can't buy happiness.
One of the best parts of the movie is the scenery of two beautiful cities: Manhattan and San Francisco. The characters are easy to have empathy for, but only for a fleeting second. After awhile, you just want them to get it together.
Final words: Cate Blanchett’s performance is spectacular, but the movie as a whole was a bit of a (pretty) drag.