Blue Jasmine received nominations for Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Best Supporting Actress: Sally Hawkins, and Best Original Screenplay: Woody Allen.

Update: Won Best Actress: Cate Blanchett

Blue JasmineWoody Allen has a new muse. San Francisco.

You thought I meant Cate Blanchett, didn’t you? Allen, like Hitchcock before him, has a tendency to use familiar settings and actresses. I. E. Diane Keeton and Scarlett Johannseon. In the film, Jasmine (Blanchett) moves from New York (Allen’s former Muse) to San Francisco. The move is warranted after Jasmine’s husband, Hal (Alec Baldwin) is arrested in a pyramid scheme that is now synomous with Bernie Madoff.

Jasmine has to leave behind all the swank of New York to move in with her half-sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins). Ginger lives in a little apartment in San Francisco with  her children. Divorced and single-parenting, Ginger’s lifestyle is nothing like what Jasmine used to be. Mostly because Ginger and her ex-husband were victims of Hal’s scheme.

The move is a huge transition for Jasmine, one that she struggles with to the point of emotional break-down. Think Blanche from A Streetcar Named Desire. Jasmine, like Blanche DuBois, has trouble reliving on the “kindness of strangers.” Even when that “stranger” is her half-sister. Mostly because Jasmine is still living in her past. Jasmine is filled as much rage as she is guilt. It leaves her on a wide range of anxiety and depression medications. The medications combined with the heavy drinking leaves her a mess.

All of this leaves her in a state of false reality. She has a romanticized sense of self, that leaves her out of touch with the way things truly are. When she lies, she thinks she is telling the truth. And in this transition of life, she lies so much she no longer knows what truth is. Lies that are so powerful, Peter Sarsgaard’s diplomat believes her and gets tangled in her web.

This Woody Allen flick is the best one since Match Point in 2005. Blanchett is worthy of the nomination. Her performance as Jasmine is gripping and heart-breaking all at the same time.