Extra Cinema: Blue Jasmine (12A)

Undated Film Still Handout from Blue Jasmine. Pictured: KATE BLANCHETT as Jasmine and ALEC BALDWIN as Hal. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Warner Brothers. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.
Undated Film Still Handout from Blue Jasmine. Pictured: KATE BLANCHETT as Jasmine and ALEC BALDWIN as Hal. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Warner Brothers. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

Director: Woody Allen

Starring: Cate Blanchett, Aled Baldwin

CATE Blanchett is strongly tipped to receive her sixth Oscar nomination for her tour-de-force portrayal of a cuckolded wife in this emotionally-wrought comedy drama.

The Australian’s in almost every frame of Woody Allen’s entertaining film, delivering his zinging dialogue with split-second timing and reducing herself to a blubbering wreck as her heroine’s privileged life in New York crumbles after her husband is arrested for his dodgy business dealings.

In fragmented flashbacks, we meet Jasmine (Blanchett) during happier times married to businessman Hal (Alec Baldwin).

She has little time for her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) or then-brother-in-law Augie (Andrew Dice Clay), who foolishly invest their lottery winnings in one of Hal’s bogus property investment schemes.

When Hal’s exposed as a crook, all of Jasmine’s assets are seized and she is forced to head to San Francisco and move into divorcee Ginger’s modest apartment.

Things start looking up when she meets a handsome diplomat called Dwight (Peter Sarsgaard), who has excellent prospects, heralding a turnaround in fortunes for the self-obsessed neurotic socialite.

Distinguished by Blanchett’s raw and bleakly funny performance, Blue Jasmine is one of Allen’s best films on US soil for some time.