Sunday, August 11, 2013

And the Oscar Race Is On...

Movie biggies have finally caught on. Grown-ups want to go to the movies in the summer, too. August unleashes a few contenders long before the pre-Oscar dust settles. On top of the list: Woody Allen's much ballyhooed Blue Jasmine. And it does live up to the hype.

A tragic comedy with Allen hitting all the right notes is a essentially a fictional portrait of Ruth Madoff as a middle aged wealthy ex-wife of a real estate crook nabbed gone mad. Cate Blanchett is already on the Best Actress short list. But there are star turns here, too, from Sally Hawkins as her lower-rent, more centered sister, Bobby Cannavale as the sis's bombastic boyfriend and who knew Andrew Dice Clay could actually conjure pathos? Alec Baldwin, a now a perennial Allen player, offers the least nuanced role as the crooked ( and, natch, wife cheating) honcho.

Blue is Jasmine's free-fall,. and Blanchett does it with such frenetic and captivating power, it is truly a tour de force of a mental breakdown.

Drive safe. Play nice. Dream big.

Pass the pop corn. And stay tuned @abwrites