Mother! !!

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First, the link to the trailer.

Next, a warning: So. Many. Spoilers.

Actually, I’m just going to discuss the spoilers.

Here with go with the spoilers…

Did everyone notice how Ed Harris’s Adam had an injured rib Javier Bardem covered up in the bathroom the night before Michelle Pfeiffer as Eve arrives? Brilliant. As was the Cain and Abel storyline. I take issue with the fact that she makes Jennifer Lawrence a spiked lemonade rather than some kind of apple-oriented drink. And there was no snake, I’m pretty sure. But it’s okay.

For someone with no religious background whatsoever (except for a few weeks of church one year when I found out which church my crush went to, and a Jewish preschool experience), I was grateful to have the Biblical allusions thrown in my face by Darren Aronofsky. It was quite helpful and it took me two viewings to fully understand everything he threw in. (Who knows if I even caught all of it after that.)

The idea of God as the Poet, or the ultimate Creator, was inspired. And when Javier Bardem explains to Jennifer Lawrence that his published work means something different to everyone who’s read it was such a beautiful line that perfectly represents religious texts. It means something different to everyone, which is why there are so many denominations within religions, and different religions.

The entire Jesus storyline as it was played out in the film was the most disturbing part of Mother!, followed by the ending (since the finale was so realistic and imminent if you view it as the destruction of humankind on Earth).

What I didn’t understand was the medicine Jennifer Lawrence took before she had her baby. That was, I think, the only symbolism that went over my head both times I saw the film. (That and the idea that she wanted God to impregnate her so badly even though that caused her demise. Why was God so hesitant to give her children? Because it caused destruction before?)

Although I’m the only person I know that enjoyed the movie, I highly recommend it. It’s disturbing at times but the storyline is so good. It’s heavy-handed but the way in which Aronofsky portrays the house first as Eden, and then as the whole Earth is the product of a visionary (unless Eden is Earth, which I wouldn’t know since I haven’t had formal religious education and I didn’t Google it). The acting is well done and the allusions are so strong and fun to spot that it’s worth going to see in theaters. Just try not to freak out when Baby Jesus gets killed.

Lastly, here is a quick reminder that Earth is precious. Nature is beautiful. And the environment is a precious resource that we are squandering mindlessly. Let’s work to do better.

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Matt the Martian

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The Martian was an excellent film. It was a galactic drama with bouts of charming, Matt Damon comedy. Damon, who has made some unfortunate gaffes in the recent past, was adorable. Although other such stars as Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, and Kristen Wiig had roles in the film, Matt Damon was obviously the star.

I think if you’ve at all heard about the film, you know the premise. A NASA astronaut is stranded on Mars after being struck by debris during a storm on the unfamiliar planet and left for dead. He must survive on a limited supply of food and nutrients to survive. (This movie was filmed before the astronomic discovery, pun intended, that Mars has water, which would have changed everything.)

Damon’s character, Mark Watney, cannot live with the amount of food that was left in the vehicle on Mars for the entire time it will take for a rescue party to reach him. But he’s a botanist! So he is able to use his scientific background and extreme resourcefulness to figure out how to make the situation work for him. There are obstacles and slight changes in the plot line to make the story interesting. The end is appropriate and rewarding.

Let me make a few quick, superficial comments about the actors in the film:

  • Kate Mara’s forehead is SO SMALL. She was a much better actress in this than in House of Cards, probably because it was smaller. (In case you can’t tell I’m not really a fan.)
  • Sebastian Stan is Carter Baizen from Gossip Girl and, addict that I am, I can’t picture him as any other character. I told my boyfriend after the film that “one of the actors” is from that show, and he guessed correctly on the first try.
  • Jessica Chastain is a great actress. I appreciate her loyalty to outer-space films; to be honest I haven’t seen her in anything else. I really like that she was the Commander in The Martian. That’s the kind of diversity we’re talkin’ about, Willis.
  • Jeff Daniels plays a character with the same manner of speaking as Will McAvoy in The Newsroom. I suppose he’s good for roles that are super serious, or super stupid.
  • I can’t take Donald Glover seriously. I just can’t, as hard as I may try.
  • It’s great that Kristen Wiig is enhancing her CV, but my boyfriend asked why she, as the media relations associate for NASA, was involved in so many high-stress and important decisions. It was an excellent question. Maybe they could have cast her as a scientist.

This was an intense film that was thoroughly enjoyable and should be viewed. For me to say that, having watched the movie from the second row, straining my neck the entire time, is quite a feat. Normally I’m quick to hate films I see in that position, but this is definitely unique. I liked the character development, the camaraderie among members of the crew, the intensity and internal politics of NASA, and the “math” and “science” that were integral to the plots.

See it, definitely. And let me know what you think!

Boston’s Very Own Film Festival

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Hello my dear readers,

I haven’t been writing lately, and for those of you who appreciate my witty and insightful commentary, I apologize for that. (I’m about to add something for those of you who don’t appreciate my witty and insightful commentary, but you’re probably not going to see it so I won’t.)

The truth is, once the 2014 wall calendars started coming down and people had to go to their local bookstore (read: Brookline Booksmith) to pick up a calendar for the new year, I was going to the cinema a lot less often than just a few weeks before. It’s a shame, because I recently came to the conclusion that film is one of my favorite forms of art. However, the weather is turning from monstrous to marvelous and I plan on taking full advantage of the beautiful institution that is Coolidge Corner theater, now located only a few minutes from my apartment! I’m also determined to enjoy the Somerville theater, located only a few minutes from my boyfriend’s apartment. (We really live in some great places.)As luck would have it, this week was the Independent Film Festival, Boston, 2015. And it took place at Coolidge Corner Theater, Somerville Theater, Brattle Theater in Harvard Square, and some other random and much less convenient location like UMASS Boston. (It wasn’t on my radar so I’m not even going to bother fact checking that statement.) I love film festivals (it’s always been my dream to attend the Tribeca Film Festival or Sundance Film Festival; don’t get me started on Cannes), and the Boston Film Festival is a perfect start.

So, I found out about the film festival and immediately researched all of the films on the lineup. I texted the ones I thought sounded interesting to my boyfriend. Clearly not doing enough research, we settled on The Overnight at the Somerville Theater late last week.

Let’s talk about The Overnight. First of all, it was my first “sex comedy.” I didn’t realize it was before we went. I just saw that Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, and Jason Schwartzman (the actor who always reminds me of my love for Wes Anderson) were the stars and decided that it must be great and we needed to see it!

It was interesting. I can’t say that it was good or bad; it was just totally bizarre. I’m not sure what my expectations for the film were but I ended up in shock and awe. Maybe the film was trying to achieve that reaction from its viewers. In that case… huge success!

The story follows a couple new to Los Angeles as they figure out their friendship with an interesting, and very dysfunctional, couple whose child is the only person their son has made a connection with. They plan on spending an evening with the couple, but when Jason Schwartzman’s character insists that his dinner guests stay longer after their sons are put to sleep, the couple gets sucked in. A funny guy and his beautiful wife – who wouldn’t want to get closer to such an attractive pair?

The couple doesn’t realize that their new friends are interested in more than just friendship. It was not too far into the night where I come to the conclusion that this is an in-depth exploration of the phenomenon of swinger culture in LA, but that’s not totally correct. You’ll have to watch the entire film to see what I mean. I must say, however, that if you’re not a fan of innuendo and of the perverse, you might not want to see The Overnight. I’m glad I saw it just so I can say that I patronized the arts and participated in the Independent Film Festival, but I’m upset, to be honest, that my dad is going to read this post and know that I saw the movie, which he probably heard about and avoided. We’ll see if he knew anything about it if/when it came out at IFC in his neighborhood and maybe I’ll share an update.

The other film that I saw as part of the Independent Film Festival was King Georges, about a world-renowned chef whose institutional restaurant, Le Bec Fin, in Philadelphia was appreciated by the high-class until a short while ago, at which point he considered closing the establishment that had made him so happy for so long. That documentary was absolutely worth it to see. I wholeheartedly enjoyed it and craved escargot and duck confit for at least an hour after.

Today, my friend is going to see The Wolfpack, which I unfortunately did not purchase tickets for. I told her to tell me how it is, but I won’t be able to write a review of it. You’ll have to see it for yourself.

I hope that I continue my frequenting of the movie theater these days. I love the escape and I love experiencing things I never would in real life. I love the art that is cinema, and I enjoy writing about it.

Another Round of Applause for The Grand Budapest Hotel

I just need to reiterate how wonderful this movie is. And finally, the Academy is giving Wes Anderson, my cinematic hero and love, the recognition he deserves. I’ve read numerous articles that articulate exponentially better than I can how the Grand Budapest Hotel is the film that all of Anderson’s other films have been leading up to, but I concur. His theatricality has finally won the recognition of the Academy, and Wes Anderson, Ralph Fiennes, or the Grand Budapest better win one of the awards.

I, still, love everything about this movie. The setting of an old, quaint, aristocratic Europe in winter is idyllic. The characters are charming and lovable, and the story is captivating and simultaneously slightly ridiculous.

Ralph Fiennes as M. Gustave H. is perfection. His execution of lines is so wonderful that I try so hard to quote him as often as I can. However, all I can manage are his simpler quotes, like “the plot thickens, as they say. And why, by the way? Is it a soup metaphor?” and others.

The costumes are great. The Mendl’s pastries that play a small but critical role throughout the film are great. The names of everything- L’air de Panache, Society of the Crossed Keys, Schloss Lutz- are great! The movie is great. If it’s playing today at a theater near you, because it’s back in theaters today only by popular demand, I implore you to see it and enjoy it the way it’s supposed to be enjoyed.

Thank you, Wes, for another masterpiece. Best of luck at the Oscars!

‘Merican Sniping

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I just came back from watching American Sniper and it was quite an experience. During the last half hour of the film (it was a long movie) I was trying to figure out what I would write about for this post. How could I appropriate describe the film in a way that would encapsulate everything I thought about it? I realized that I didn’t feel just one way. It was a brilliantly acted movie and Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of the most lethal American sniper in U.S. military history is powerful. At times I laughed, I felt devastated, I cringed, I almost cried. I can’t just say that the film was anti-Islam. I can’t just say that the film glorified military camaraderie and generalized Islam by stereotyping Iraqi men. I can’t say those things, because I walked out of theater idolizing a man who killed over one hundred people in combat and who belonged to a group of which I have never felt very akin. Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper made me feel. That’s the highest praise I can give this movie, but it’s a lot.

I did have an issue with the way Iraqis were portrayed in the film. It seemed as though most of the Iraqi men were anti-American and in cahoots with someone from al-Qaeda. If they weren’t, then the language barrier between them and the Navy Seals seemed significant enough to categorize them as “other,” which is the basis for the idea of Edward Said’s Orientalism and creates issues when trying to find common ground. Maybe, though, that’s just the way that American military men view the natives of the countries in which they fight. This film was certainly from the viewpoint of an American.

The camaraderie among Navy Seals was nice to see. I always assumed they had a tremendous bond, but the way that Chris Kyle, the protagonist, treated his “brothers” was truly beautiful. He was a tragic hero. He was a hero because, in his mind, the greatest achievement was to protect his fellow military men, and he accomplished that tour after tour. He was a tragic hero because he had to achieve his feats by killing other human beings. He was a tragic hero because it messed him up when he was at home, between tours, and shortly after he retired. He was a tragic hero because he had a lot of trouble connecting with his wife and children for the years in which he was active in the military. He was a tragic hero because his life ended really tragically.

The scenes of each tour were graphic. I did not enjoy seeing Kyle kill so many people, even if they did have grenades in their hands. I suppose that’s the burden of being a pacifist. I don’t care if a child was handed a grenade by his mother, dressed in conservative garb, and told to kill Marines. I don’t want to see the child get shot. I don’t care that the film felt the need to emphasize how horrific Islamic extremists are, I don’t want to see a man drill off the genitals of a little boy. Of course, the man was dressed in a turban. We get it, Clint; that’s enough.

Towards the end of the movie, when Kyle has officially retired and is no longer an active member of the service, he struggles with PTSD, although it’s very slight. The VA psychologist who treats him lets him work with other veterans who were physically wounded, and this helps our man Kyle escape his own guilt at not being able to save everyone while overseas. It’s a difficult reminder that wars really mess soldiers up. I found myself thinking how nice it would be if the proceeds from the movie went to the Wounded Warriors Project (or the American Islamic Congress or a similar group) to alleviate some of the issues that are so prevalent in our society today, caused by the unending Iraqi War.

I get really frustrated at the state of affairs at VA hospitals across the country. At the end of the movie (spoiler alert), Kyle is shot by a veteran he was trying to help. (Sorry to ruin the end of the film but if you read the book on which it was based, or perhaps are an avid military history buff, you know this anyway.) I think that if retired veterans were better cared for, they wouldn’t have the extreme emotional and psychological problems that lead to homicide. Look up the features on VA hospitals that various news outlets have done- ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, The Daily Show, and I believe Last Week Tonight- and you’ll see what I mean.

Another tangentially related note is that I abhor the idea that society glorifies war to little boys, whose minds are so impressionable, with games like Call of Duty. First of all, what a sick name. There are other kinds of duty than that of able and willing men to serve their country overseas. I, for one, will never buy Call of Duty for a child or let my children play Call of Duty even with a friend (I say that now but we’ll see). I don’t like what it stands for and I don’t like that it probably seeps into children’s brains and makes them think that blowing things up and killing other people is okay. It’s not.

I think that I would refrain from seeing American Sniper unless you understand that you will see children die, you will see graphic imagery of American soldiers getting mutilated, and you will see the psychological effects war has on our veterans. Unless you’re willing to spend the amount of money the ticket cost on a donation to the Wounded Warriors Project after, I’m not sure I would patronize Clint Eastwood, who will probably donate to the next Republican presidential candidate and aid in prolonging our conflicts in the Middle East. I absolutely think that it was a great movie. It was well-directed and brilliantly acted, and the Oscar nominations it received are well deserved. However, it was powerful in a disturbing way. Good luck dealing with the lingering feelings you have upon leaving the theater.

Wes Anderson Lovin’

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The Grand Budapest Hotel is Wes Anderson’s most recent masterpiece. I love the majority of Wes Anderson films, and I think the Grand Budapest may not only be my favorite Wes Anderson movie, but my favorite movie in general. I’m certain I won’t be able to appropriately describe how whimsically wonderful this movie is, but keep reading anyway.

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The story is a flashback within a flashback. Gustave H., played by Ralph Fiennes, is the extraordinary concierge of the Grand Budapest Hotel, and his adorable sidekick is Zero Moustafa, played by F. Murray Abraham. They are involved in the theft and recovery of a highly-coveted painting, Boy with Apple. It’s a fairy tale of sorts.

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I have found that Wes Anderson’s films have become increasingly whimsical and theatrical over the course of his career, whereas his earlier works are perhaps more realistic and designed for the silver screen. Lately, his films could easily be transferred into screenplays for theater. Everything about them makes me wonder why an orchestra isn’t beneath the stage.

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Here is what I loved about The Grand Budapest Hotel:

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  • The flashback within a flashback frame of the story, and the acknowledgment that time sometimes causes decay
  • The casting- All of Anderson’s favorites have at least a cameo in the film
  • The friendship between Gustave H. and his lobby boy, which was inevitable given the passion they both had for the hospitality service industry
  • The relations that Gustave H. had with the older women that stayed at the hotel
  • Gustave H.’s way of speaking, and Zero’s emulation of it as time progressed
  • The camaraderie that Gustave H. was able to cultivate during his time in prison, and that his flamboyant nature made him so popular with everyone
  • The courtesan pastries that play an integral role in the story (and the innuendo of the pastry’s name)
  • The chapter titles delineated through illustrations and textiles
  • The race through the snowy mountainous regions of Eastern Europe
  • The writing; the ingenuity; the whimsical nature of the story, the characters, and the location
  • The colors, perfectly suited to each character’s nature
  • The symmetry or otherwise perfect camera angles of every single scene
  • The happy ending

I want to see it again. I want to watch it over and over. Everyone should invest in a ticket and treasure the film.

Acting Abilities and Storytelling

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… on Gossip Girl

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I have been watching a LOT of Gossip Girl lately. (I know that this is probably a post that is not going to appeal to most of my readers. I like to think that you, dear readers, consist of a high caliber eschelon that appreciates quality film and television. I like to think that you, dear readers, will not mind the brief and one-time sink into the depths of television, especially relatively recent CW tv. Read this post at least because my writing style is the same. I appreciate it.)

The acting on Gossip Girl covers quite a gamut. Each of the actors seems to be of a different level of acting. Some of the actors seem as though they starred in two or three high school theater productions before they were cast for this ridiculous melodrama, while others should be plucked from the wasteland of CW tv and cast in more appropriate cinematic roles.

First, let’s talk about Blake Lively. Lively is one of the most undeserving actresses of this generation. It’s wonderful that nepotism and connections work so well in Hollywood because without it I am beyond certain than Lively would never have been employed. She overacts. Her mouth is always open, and the only reason she was cast as Serena Van Der Woodsen is because she fits well into the clothing. It’s really not fair that Christian Louboutin made custom shoes for her wedding to Ryan Reynolds (which I believe I read somewhere). How is that fair?

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Leighton Meester, on the other hand, is a great actress! I believe that she has a lot of potential. I haven’t seen her in anything of the mainstream movies she’s done (and I’m glad, because writing is everything and I’m sure I would have problems with the story line). Blair’s character executes difficult diction and syntax with apparent ease and is often quite humorous in her exchanges with others.

Penn Badgley is totally cute and remains so throughout the entire series. I am unprepared to say that he is a good actor, but he is certainly above average. His character is amusing, but I’ll get more into that when I discuss storytelling.

Chace Crawford is my other (besides Blair) favorite character on the show. Nate Archibald is such a good guy who always gets sloppy seconds, probably because he’s got a good heart! Crawford doesn’t overact (much Ed Westwick, who plays his best friend), and the undeserving start of the show, Blake Lively.

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The parents in the film are generally decent actors. I presume this is because they all have more experience- either in acting or in watching movies to see how good acting is done. (I’ll be honest, I have not done very much research on the characters.)

I could go on about individual actors, but I’m really self-conscious about this post because of its content, so I’m going to move on to the story telling aspect of the surprisingly addictive show.

While some of the acting is good and some of the acting is terrible, and also because it’s difficult to generalize about the storytelling of a show when there are so many seasons and it’s inevitable that a show will maintain a steady course throughout its lifetime, the following statements are totally subjective. Please (if you’ve ever watched any episodes of Gossip Girl) post your opinions in the comments!

The storytelling of Gossip Girl is really quite absurd. It’s mostly unrealistic, which is only to be expected because it is a soap opera for teenagers (again, cue my embarrassment at getting into this show years after the height of its popularity and my teenage years). People in the highest socioeconomic classes in Manhattan do have special privileges, but I doubt that there is as much scheming that takes place in the real world. I do appreciate Blair’s determination to get what she wants by having a plan of action to take others down. (That’s always what makes a captivating show, right?) Serena has way too much power in her family. She is always making decisions that she has no right to make, not only in her family but with people over whom she should really have no control. She always gets away with it, and it’s just like her situation in Hollywood. She is privileged with so many nice things and no justification. Right now, I’m watching the episode where Blair is trying to obtain the approval of a French prince’s family. That’s absurd. She dated him for a second in Paris and a second in the States and now she’s engaged? Odd. Also, the show is soooo incestuous. Again, I could go on.

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I’m not going to go on. I will conclude by saying that Gossip Girl is my guilty pleasure, and in case this post had the effect that I fear it did, I apologize for imposing my guilty pleasure upon all of you. This last episode just got so real, though, with domestic violence, royal engagements, and more guaranteed scandal, I’m going to continue with the binge-watching.

Fitzgerald Novels versus Film Adaptations

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Let me begin by stating this: I love F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literature. I have read the majority of his works and I can quote many of them on demand. I am a self-described Fitzgerald snob, and so I practically threw up when I saw the latest film adaptation of the Great American Novel, the Great Gatsby.

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First of all, Nick Carraway is not supposed to be in a mental institution. That is a setting for the narrator of the story that was entirely contrived by Baz Luhrmann and was completely unnecessary. I also doubt that Jay Gatsby was supposed to have such a heavy accent. He was originally from the Midwest. Do people from the Midwest talk like Leonardo DiCaprio talked throughout the entire film? I don’t think they do, and even if they do, Gatsby was supposed to have trained himself to speak in a sophisticated manner void of any forced affectations.

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I thought the casting in Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation was catastrophic. If any of you have seen the version of the Great Gastby with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, which everyone should because it is the only acceptable film adaptation of the story, you will understand that the casting of the 2013 version did not make any sense. (It is one of my favorite exercises to create imaginary casts for certain films for fun. I invite you all to tell me which other actors/actresses you think would have worked in the comments!)

We all know that Baz Luhrmann is an acquired taste. Romeo and Juliet with DiCaprio was brilliant, but Moulin Rouge was mediocre, I thought. Perhaps it is my love for Fitzgerald’s work that gets me so enlivened about the blasphemy that was the 2013 version of the Great Gatsby, but I really do think there were problems in the execution of such an important story in American literature. Think about the movie of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was too long. I will admit that. (Brad Pitt likes to star in long movies sometimes, doesn’t he.) Not many people are familiar with the fact that Benjamin Button was the protagonist of a short story written by Fitzgerald, which I’m certain is why Hollywood thought they could get away with changing the movie’s story line so drastically. In this case, however, the changes were acceptable, because the story became even more endearing and the audience’s poor taste was not taken for granted. In the short story, Benjamin and Daisy (if that is even her name in the story, I can’t remember), are not in love. Benjamin’s marriage is fleeting and not a major point in the story. In the movie, it’s everything. And somehow, this is okay. As a viewer, I wanted desperately to see where the relationship between Benjamin and Daisy would go. I was not disappointed.

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In the short story, Benjamin does not have a daughter. He has more of a relationship with his parents and more of a relationship with his son. In the movie, Benjamin had a daughter so that Fitzgerald’s famous excerpt from a letter to his daughter, Scotty, could be incorporated into the movie. It worked. It was heartfelt and warming and endearing. It was a beautiful story and while it was different from that of the written work, I am safe to say it was equally as good.

If you enjoyed the film, I encourage you to read the short story. It is slightly more humorous than the film and less of a time commitment if you space it out. I encourage you to read all of Fitzgerald’s works, and discriminate when it comes to the films that are made from his stories. I know Leo’s totally hot, but he didn’t earn any points with me for starring as a Jay Gatsby that had no place Fitzgerald’s America.

 

Despondent Gem

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Blue Jasmine was amazing. I am prepared to say that this is my new favorite Woody Allen film. (And for those of you who read my previous post about the filmmaker, I may have jumped a bit to eagerly onto the anti-Woody bandwagon. There are many things to consider in the situation and I shouldn’t have made such a harsh judgment without knowing the details or facts, which I’m not sure anyone does outside of the individuals involved.)

I am quite fond of Cate Blanchett as an actress. After seeing her perform in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button I became a fan. Her acting in Blue Jasmine was phenomenal. The story, for those of you who may not know, is about a woman who had grown accustomed to leading a luxurious life as the socialite wife of a financier (or real estate tycoon, or something) in Manhattan. It turns out that Jasmine’s husband, portrayed by Alec Baldwin in increasingly incriminating flashbacks, was not an upstanding citizen. The issues in Jasmine’s life stem from her willingness to turn a blind eye to her husband’s actions. She was so happy with her life of ease that she allowed her husband to circumvent the law, and the vows of their marriage, to maintain their lifestyle. Eventually, the couple’s wealth is investigated by the authorities and dismantled, along with their marriage.

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This is where the story actually begins. Jasmine is forced to live with her adoptive sister on the other side of the country. Because of Jasmine’s new resource-empty situation, she is forced to find work and mingle with people she considers low class. The dynamic between the sisters is intriguing because it explores a topic not regularly discussed in modern day America: the caste system. Jasmine’s sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins), bags groceries at the local market. She dates men who work in automotive shops and lives in a very modest apartment. Jasmine was, in the not-so-distant past, a socialite who vacationed in the Hamptons, threw parties, attended galas, and expected diamonds from Cartier for any occasion. Their lives were completely different and the exchanges between them after they are forced together are thought-provoking.

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Another interesting story line in Blue Jasmine is Jasmine’s courtship of Dwight, played by Peter Sarsgaard. Dwight is of a similar socioeconomic status to Jasmine and happens to live on the West Coast. She realizes the potential results of courtship with this man, and she pursues him. Her determination to continue a life of social climbing is fascinating. Again, Blanchett’s acting is superb. She finally sees a way out of her job as an administrative position at the local dentist’s office by marrying a well-to-do Californian man. But is her luck too good to be true?

The most captivating element of Jasmine’s entire saga is the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder she evidently suffers from her marriage to Hal and the way that it collapsed. She talks to herself and pops countless Xanax pills throughout the course of each day. Clearly, she is not mentally stable, and we wonder what could have been so bad about her divorce (was it a divorce…) to leave her in such a terrible mental state. Maybe her need for Xanax is simply a trait of the insanely rich- to seek remedy in pharmaceuticals and not actually deal with the problem at hand. But then what is the deal with her dementia? Why is this fashionable woman talking to herself in the middle of the city sidewalk? The flashbacks to her life with Hal give us further information about her marriage until the picture is complete and we understand why she is so messed up.

Woody Allen has gone through phases in terms of the quality of his films, in my opinion. I am certainly no expert, but I know that Annie Hall was spectacular and To Rome, With Love was mediocre. Blue Jasmine surpasses everything that I have seen by Woody Allen and deserves the praise it received even in light of recent allegations made against him. (I’m not going to delve into that. I’m just going to say his latest work was good.) Everyone should see Blue Jasmine and appreciate the dark humor that inspired actors, directors, screenwriters, and others in Hollywood provide to us every year.