Directed By: Woody Allen, 2013
JOHN: I didn’t like Blue Jasmine, and I realize everyone else has. The acting is fine. Direction, excellent, even the flash back structure that contrasts past and present seems to work.
Except there is a difference between a play and a movie—I am reacting to frequent comparisons of this to Streetcar Named Desire. With a play there are some out of town previews, revisions, attention to live audience response. A movie or novel is not known to the audience. That is until afterwards when the author or director finds out the work strikes a chord with them.
The emphasis on Streetcar may be Blanche, but it is her affect on Stanley and Stella that is the heart of the play. Jasmine focuses on the Cate Blanchett (Blanche like) character but that’s about it, and she is someone who just makes me feel uncomfortable.
SPANKY: So you’re saying, as a viewer, you don’t get involved with her life?
JOHN: Like Charlie Sheen, Baldwin is a self-involved and Louis C.K. a nice guy who at times seems too nice. We believe they are who they are. No surprise. So why can’t the Jasmine character do the same? And if she doesn’t, that is her fault so why shouldn’t she suffer for it?
SPANKY: So Jasmine is taken in and we, as audience, aren’t. When she cracks, we say “what the hell, how could you not see what’s coming.”
JOHN: She gets what she deserves and we, who she would scorn, feel this is fine.
SPANKY: So what would you have done differently?
JOHN: Had her sister, who we do care about, have her life ruined. Giving us a chance to care.
GO (one GO out of 5)
SPANKY: I’ll raise you two since I think Woody Allen is remarkable and he seems to be back in form.
BARK, BARK, BARK (3 BARKS out of 5)
JOHN: By the way, whatever happened to streetcars?