How many sickeningly zealous, corny, sycophantic interjections must I use about Woody Allen’s new movie, Blue Jasmine, before I begin to sound like an enthusiastic crack whore? I don’t know, but the movie is that good.
Blue Jasmine is one of Allen’s best offerings in years, a detraction from his existential journeys into the tortured minds and social lethargy of patented New York neurotics. Allen tackles a different form of moral ambiguity here. One shaped by political and socioeconomic forces I’ve not seen him wield before. The effect is a grimy glimpse into the histrionics of American greed and affectation, both realized and unrealized. To be sure, I’ve always enjoyed the Allenesque philosophical school of despair and meaninglessness, but in this movie, as applied to the intractable form of American consumerism with a tinge of nuanced observations about gender relations as extensions of the same dynamic that drives human greed and ambition, I felt I was treated to a glimpse into Allen, the worldly cynic, a clinical humanist, a man who I believe continues to eschew Race as a cinematic motif because he harbors opinions that might alienate him from the normal Hollywood kooks.
In fact, the genesis which propels Blue Jasmine’s philosophic outlook owes a debt of gratitude to the awareness that powers the conversations and observations seen in much of the “Roissysphere/HBDsphere.” Blue Jasmine examines the stratification which seems undeniably a function of human genetics and culture while slyly using an adoption case to further its plot study.
Blue Jasmine has proles, it has SWPLs, it has Masters of the Universe, and it even has a bit of female solipsism…but best of all, it acknowledges these characters as such without sinking to apologetic justification for anyone’s behavior as anything other than manifestations of human nature.
Ultimately, I believe this movie can be viewed as Woody Allen’s 2013 manifesto which relishes an antithetical form of simplicity, not anti-consumerism, to many of his historical New York characters.