Blanche DuBois comes onstage. She’s Stella’s older, single sister (early thirties). Blanche waits inside the apartment and has a shot of Stanley’s booze–the sisters reunite and Blanche reveals some bad news–they are bankrupt. She had a bit of a break-down–Blanche is horrified that her sister is living in a dump like this one when they both come from such a wealthy, elite background. Blanche has another drink–rest assured that Blanche is either having a drink or about to have a drink at all times–Stella goes to the bathroom and Stanley enters and Blanche sees a man not good enough for her sister and too brutal for the DuBois sisters–while they chat, Blanche reveals that she was married once, but her husband died– that night Stanley and his buddies play poker at the house. Among said buddies is Mitch, who is single.


No, you are not watching a remake of “A Streetcar Named Desire” or a filming of Cate Blanchett’s  Blanche, that she played on stage to resounding success. You are watching a modern Woody Allen  version called “Blue Jasmine” but unfortunately Allen is not the poet and lover of words that Tennessee Williams was. Here Blanche is called Jasmine, or Jeanette, her sister Stella here called Ginger, played by Sally Hawkins, only now they are not blood sisters but both were adopted, which gives Woody Allen a chance to riff on genes! He also has a Bernie Madoff like Alec Baldwin while pointing fingers at how much did Jasmine–Ruth Madoff–know?


Now instead of one Staney we have 3: Gingers ex, Augie (Andrew Dice Clay), her current lover Chili (Bobby Cannavale) and a possible future lover Al (Louis C.K.) while Blanche/Jasmine’s gentleman caller Mitch  is called  Dwight (Peter Sarsgaard). Some more modern touches are using San Francisco instead of New Orleans, the guys watching a football game instead of playing poker, Jasmine popping Xanax and  we see Blanche’s Belle Reeves in her New York life. Allen does stick to old blues songs playing a lot of the originals.


While all the actors acquit themselves doing excellent work it is more Cate Blanchett’s  movie than theirs or Woody Allen’s. This is the closest we’ll ever get to her stage portrayal of Blanche and, as of now, she is the forerunner for the Oscar’s Best Actress award.


Posted August 9, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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