Since 1966, Woody Allen has directed 43 features, amounting to almost one picture per year, an immense quantity for any one director. Best known for his wry romance comedies and quirky, rambling set of on-screen portrayals, Allen no doubt does comedy best. But every once in a while, his writing take a dramatic turn. The laughs come fewer and farther in exchange for a deeper study of human psyche and emotion, ala Match Point. Not a typical Woody Allen movie some might say, but amidst a slew of signature comedies, these often stand as some of his most memorable work. Case and point with his latest feature, Blue Jasmine.
Blue Jasmine, like Match Point is not a typical Woody Allen movie of recent memory. The film lacks the outlandish faltery of last year’s To Rome with Love and the whimsical nostalgia of 2011’s gem, Midnight in Paris. His newest movie is a swooning, cerebral drama detailing the likes of pain and loss, obsession and regret. Blue Jasmine updates Tennessee Williams’ classic stage play “A Streetcar Named Desire.” New Orleans swaps out for San Francisco and the 1950s becomes the present day. The nutty Blanche DuBois character, here called Jasmine, is marvelously depicted by veteran screen actress Cate Blanchett, who the Academy will no doubt recognize with at least a nomination.