Blue Jasmine – This is the story of two sisters, one that has left a world of excess and comes to live with her sister who has nothing. She arrives at her door step in San Francisco with only the expensive clothes on her back and the memories of the world she has left behind, and has to adjust to more humble settings. Having recently seen ‘A Streetcar named desire’ there is a clear comparison between the two, even if Woody Allen says they are not linked. After the initial premise, it veers away from Streetcar, and moves into untested water as Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) takes a job and tries to become a normal member of the underclass she once looked down on.
There are many problems with this piece, as I don’t think people from the uber class can fall as far as this describes, especially ones as good looking as Cate, but if you don’t worry about these details, it’s an enjoyable enough ride. Sadly, this wasn’t the film I was expecting, due to the level of praise it received. It’s nowhere near Woody at his best, but Cate Blanchett and her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) are reason enough to see it though.
Crash Reel is a deeply affecting documentary that tells the tale of snowboarding Olympic hopeful Kevin Pearce, who had an accident on the slopes causing serious brain injury. From the initial scenes showing his amazing skill on the slopes he is vastly reduced to a man who has to learn how to walk and talk again. It becomes the story of his slow recovery as it eventually becomes clear that he’ll never get back to who he was previously. It’s a sad tale of accepting ones limitations and seeing how easily your dreams can disappear. It deals with the level of damage that professional sports players do to their bodies and brains, showing the long term affects of these injuries in graphic detail. It’s touching and poignant and left me in a blue mood after seeing it, but sometimes life doesn’t have a happy ending!
Enough Said – The tale of those that have lost in love, and are willing to try again! Two divorcees end up in a new relationship which is going pretty well, until Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) realises that the ex wife of her new man is one of her clients. She is a masseuse, who travels around to her clients, and hears the story of their lives as she does her massages. When she realises the situation, she does not come clean with either party, and as the situation gets more and more complicated, sparks start to fly!
Ok, it’s an awful premise, the stuff of a Jennifer Aniston movie, and I was more than a little scared going into the cinema. In fact, this is a warm and rich movie, with complex well drawn out characters that feel real, even if the story doesn’t. It is also James Gandolfini’s second last movie ever, so what more reason do you need? It’s well worth watching, with some fine acting and interesting characters that really draw you in. Go see!