Nominated Role: As Jasmine, Cate Blanchett portrays a formerly wealthy woman who moves in with her sister after the break-up of her marriage.
The odds-on favorite to win, Cate Blanchett has won absolutely every award in her path to get here. Woody Allen obviously provides a fantastic screenplay but with Blanchett and her ability to bring Jasmine to life, this film would have lacked immensely. Playing a modern day Blanche DuBois (“Streetcar Named Desire”), Blanchett’s character Jasmine finds herself staying with her not-well-off sister, played by Sally Hawkins. Going from being married to a rich husband, wanting for nothing, and sticking her nose in the air, to having almost nothing, Jasmine struggles with her slow climb back to the top, as well as struggling with her sanity. Blancett’s Jasmine is equally beautiful as she is insane and without Blanchett’s keen skills in front of the camera, this could have easily fallen off. Instead, she remains strong and unyielding throughout the entire film, finding new and brilliant ways to portray this character. This will be Blachett’s second Academy Award, but her first for Best Actress In A Leading Role.
Nominated Role: As Ginger, Sally Hawkins plays a woman whose unhappy, recently divorced sister moves into her San Francisco apartment.
Sally Hawkins was a dark horse pick to get a nomination this year for her performance in “Blue Jasmine” but not as far as I was concerned, having picked her to get a nomination in my predictions. Hawkins’ Ginger is the not well off sister to former Wall Street trophy wife Jasmine, he is forced to move back in with her. Ginger is unsure, divorced with kids, and dating kind but lowly bottom of the barrel types. The reason I picked Hawkins when no one really else was, is the fact that she counters Cate Blanchett’s performance so well. It’s not that they’re particularly on the same level, but playing next to Blancett brought out the best in Hawkins and I admire that. Having not really seen her prior to this, her filmography shows a much different path than this role and for her to knock the performance of the park like that makes it even better. She is the perfect casting for this role and has such a unique look and personality that comes through in Allen’s writing, she rivals any of the other ladies nominated. Unfortunately for Hawkins, this category is between Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyong’o, leaving her with only her first Oscar nominations and likely many more to come.
Written by Woody Allen
I don’t know what it is about controversy and the Oscars but you can never go a year without something bubbling up to the top. This year, the scandal surrounds Woody Allen and allegations of child abuse. But I’d rather not feed to the rumors and simply say that regardless of his personal life, professionally, writers do not get much better than Allen and he’s proved this with fifteen Best Original Screenplay nominations getting three wins out of those (“Annie Hall” (1977), “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986), and “Midnight In Paris” (2011)). With his directing and acting nominations, this brings his nomination count to twenty-four. Allen has a way with dialogue that is unmatched, often finding a witty, pithy niche in the aspects of his characters and running with it. You can watch any of his films and even if you did not know whose it was walking it, you will sense the Allen-esque nature of the film and easily be able to guess. Whether we chalk it up to the controversy or not, “Blue Jasmine” will most likely not win this year, with “American Hustle” and “Her” remaining the favorites, but like Deakins and his countless nominations, Allen is a staple on the Best Original Screenplay category and it’s always great to see him there, even if he refuses to ever show up at the ceremonies.
// Produced by Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum, and Edward Walson //
// Directed by Woody Allen //
// Dated Viewed: Monday, February 10th, 2014 // DVD // 17 films – 21 days //