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The Boston Globe



Cate the Great infuses ‘Jasmine’

“Blue Jasmine” is a good Woody Allen movie with a very great Cate Blanchett performance at its center. She plays Jasmine, a Park Avenue power wife (born Jeanette) whose privileged existence has burst like a soap bubble. We first meet her on an airplane, narrating her life story to a fellow passenger who couldn’t be less interested, and we assume Jasmine is just one of those narcissistic over-sharers we all bump into in life. And then we see the crazy in her eyes.

Jasmine is arriving in San Francisco for an extended stay with her blue-collar sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins). Actually, she has no other place to go: In flashbacks, we learn that her husband Hal (Alec Baldwin), a Wall Street barracuda, recently went to jail for overt financial aggressiveness — i.e., theft — and hanged himself in his cell. Jasmine has spent so long in the upper reaches of the 1 percent that she has no idea, and doesn’t really care, how the other 99 percent live. Deep in debt, she’s still flying first class, and when her sister asks how she managed that, she responds, “Ginger, I have no idea.”

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