While legendary director Woody Allen is already hard at work adding Oscar winners to his next untitled feature, audiences still don’t have a solid grasp on what his most recent drama, Blue Jasmine, is all about (outisde of Cate Blanchett playing a miserably uppity woman who thinks she’s better than everyone else). Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, however, we now have a much better grasp on the film’s plotline, which – believe it or not – is mostly about Blanchett’s miserably uppity character thinking she’s better than everyone. Nobody can’t call the film’s first trailer a case of false advertising.
Though the film is partly set in the New York, Allen's most familiar setting, the bulk of the narrative will take place in San Francisco, where quasi-socialite Jasmine (Blanchett) is forced to take shelter with her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) after her marriage with Alec Baldwin’s Wall Street financier implodes. Jasmine spends much of her time criticizing Ginger’s romances, both with her current boyfriend Chili, played by Bobby Canavale, and with her ex-husband and father of her two children, played by Andrew Dice Clay. I can’t wait to see these two actresses’ vastly different personalities clash, as Blanchett often seems capable of playing a cold-hearted bitch even when her characters aren’t motivated that way.
“Jasmine is in freefall and has to leave behind everything she knows and has expected,” Allen writes in the film’s production notes. “She’s entering the realm of absolute unknown, moving from one coast to the other, from one social set to the other, one class to another.” In doing so she's apparently taking everyone down with her, believing that no men are good enough for her sister, even when Jasmine apparently doesn’t seem to think Ginger is a worthy enough sister. Jasmine eventually finds another romance, with a politically motivated diplomat (Peter Sarsgaard) no less, who is drawn in by her superficiality and delusions of self-grandeur. That should make for an interesting pair up, should Jasmine ever come to her senses and figure out that she isn’t the center of the world. Take a look at the two lovers in the still below.
“I think Jasmine has so little faith in her own abilities that she has to make herself more than what she is constantly,” Blanchett says of the film. “It’s an instinctual response; she doesn’t think things through. And once those words come out of her mouth, she can’t put them back in — she just has to keep going. The truth is often very terrifying, particularly when you’ve spent your entire life in a fiction.”
While I tend to enjoy the wit behind Allen’s comedies more than the personal introspection of his dramas, I’m intrigued by this film, and I like that the director has filled his cast with solid comedic performers, like Baldwin, Louis C.K. and the Diceman himself. “I always thought Andrew could be a wonderful actor in the right circumstances,” says Allen. “He’s a great type and he’s got a wonderful quality. He’s a guy who not only does the written lines you give him but he builds the character himself. He adds things, never in a pushy way, but in a creative way.” And he looks natural enough standing next to Hawkins’ wild hair in the still below.
Blue Jasmine will judgmentally hit theaters on July 26. If you haven’t seen the full trailer yet, check it out below, followed by a behind-the-scenes shot of Allen talking with cast members Canavale and Max Casella.