Blue Jasmine Parent Guide
Despite strong performances, this voyeuristic look at one woman's tragedy may leave even adults feeling let down. You can only take so much pleasure in watching the painful ruination of a life.
Parent Movie Review
Watching Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine is like being on the sidelines waiting for an inevitable train wreck. When the implosion finally occurs, Allen cuts to black, leaving the audience in the dark as to what ultimately happens to the protagonist Jasmine Francis (Cate Blanchett).
Used to the finest things in life, this beautiful wife of a wealthy businessman (Alec Baldwin) finds her life spiraling out of control when he admits to a string of infidelities and fraudulent investments that results in the couple losing everything. With nowhere to go, Jasmine lands on the doorstep of her younger sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins).
Ginger is everything Jasmine is not. A short, dark-haired single mom with two boys, she works bagging groceries at the local supermarket. He ex-husband Augie (Andrew Dice Clay) can’t move past the fact that his former brother-in-law squandered his lottery winnings on some shady deal. But Ginger has moved on. Despite her humble surroundings (which are still pretty good for a grocery clerk), she has no hard feelings toward her tall, blonde, impeccably dressed older sister even though Jasmine can’t find one nice thing to say about Ginger’s new love interest Chili (Bobby Cannavale). In fact, Jasmine repeatedly tells Ginger she is too good for the grease monkey with a hot-temper.
Set to a typical Woody Allen musical score, Blue Jasmine feels like a modern take on A Street Car Named Desire, Tennessee Williams’ famous stage play (that was also adapted into a classic movie) about another dysfunctional character. Like Blanche in that script, Jasmine seems hell-bent on self-destruction. Popping Xanex pills like candy and never getting too far away from a good stiff drink, she teeters on the edge of sanity for most of the movie.
Only when she catches the attention of a handsome, ambitious man (Peter Sarsgaad) does she try to improve her odds of snagging him with a litany of lies about her past—falsehoods that the audience knows she will never be able to maintain.
It’s almost as if you can hear the engine straining to stay on the tracks as this vulnerable, privileged woman seeks to regain the kind of financial advantage she seems to think she is due. However constant alcohol consumption, frequent profanities (including two sexual expletives), smoking and illegal drug references push this film beyond the parameters of most family viewing.
And despite the film’s meticulous editing and strong performances—especially from Cate Blanchett—this voyeuristic look at one woman’s tragedy may leave even some adults feeling let down. After all, a person can only take so much pleasure in watching the painful ruination of a life.Directed by Woody Allen . Starring Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Sally Hawkins. Running time: 98 minutes. Theatrical release August 16, 2013. Updated May 28, 2016
Rating & Content Info
Why is Blue Jasmine rated PG-13? Blue Jasmine is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for mature thematic material, language and sexual content.
Violence: A man ruins the financial lives of numerous people with his fraudulent investments. Characters discuss a man who committed suicide. An angry man rips the phone from the wall and yells at a woman during a domestic disputes. Characters engage in verbal abuse.
Sexual Content: A man kisses his mistress in public. He later admits to numerous affairs during his marriage. Crude sexual banter, comments and innuendo are included. A male explorer makes unwanted sexual advances towards a female employee, including touching and holding her.
Language: The script contains two strong sexual expletives, frequent profanities, terms of Deity and several crude or derogatory terms for sexual activity or name-calling.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A character drinks frequently to deal with stress. She is portrayed as being inebriated at times. Numerous other characters drink as well. A woman abuses prescription medicine. Smoking and references to illegal drug use are also included.
Page last updated May 28, 2016
Blue Jasmine Parents' Guide
Jasmine accuses Ginger of settling for losers when it comes to her relationships. Should Ginger be content with the treatment she receives from Chili and Augie? How does Hal compare with the men Ginger chooses? What kind of man do you think would be good for Ginger? What about Jasmine?
Despite their similar upbringing, why is Ginger’s life so different from Jasmine’s? Which one of them seems more equipped to deal with life and its challenges? What makes one person more resilient than another?
How is Jasmine’s beauty both a curse and a blessing to her? How does her dependence on alcohol limit her ability to deal with life and move forward?
What does Chili learn about himself and his ability to control his temper? Do you think this understanding will have life changing implications for him, or do you suspect he will fall back into old habits?
The most recent home video release of Blue Jasmine movie is January 21, 2014. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: Blue Jasmine
Release Date: 21 January 2014
Blue Jasmine releases to home video (Blu-ray and DVD) with the following extras:
- Notes From the Red Carpet – The cast discusses making the film and their take on the characters
- Blue Jasmine Cast Press Conference with Cate Blanchett, Peter Saarsgard and Andrew Dice Clay
Related home video titles:
Woody Allen also wrote and directed a movie about another lost soul in Midnight In Paris. Sally Hawkins plays a woman proud of her superior class in Jane Eyre. Cate Blanchett’s character Galadriel has much greater control of her life and her world in the Lord of the Rings franchise. And sisters also have to work out their differences in the film In Her Shoes.