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Woody Comes Home: Blue Jasmine Tea Leaves 

Hey folks. Michael C. here. There are few constants in my pop culture life. Woody Allen is one of them. The last time a year passed without a Woody Allen movie was 1981 when I was one year old. Like The Simpsons or SNL, I don't pay nearly as much attention as I used to, but I take a great comfort in knowing they're always there and always will be. I'd be lost if they ever went away.

The past eight years of Woody. How many did you see? Enjoy?

So I'm on board no matter how many Jade Scorpions he compulsively cranks out from now until eternity. I'm already picking through the just released details of his 2013 film, Blue Jasmine, if only in the hopes that my annual pilgrimage will be a brilliant Crimes and Misdemeanors or at very least an entertaining Vicky ChristinaAt this point there is no more than a title, a cast list, and a brief synopsis, but I already spot some reasons to be optimistic that this might be Good Woody Allen or at least what passes for Good Woody ever since the 00's showed just how painful Bad Woody could get.

5 Reasons to Be Optimistic About Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine

1. The synopsis released by Sony Pictures Classics reads...

the story of the final stages of an acute crisis and a life of a fashionable New York housewife.”


Hopefully this is a sign Woody is back writing terrific complex women and that the awful one-note shrew Rachel McAdams played in Midnight in Paris was a fluke and not the new rule. The main female cast members are Sally Hawkins and Cate Blanchett, and they are both deserving of a Hannah and Her Sisters level role. 

2. The cast list does not include the director himself.

3. After three films abroad he's back home in New York City. Now you might say that the last time he followed up a European sojourn with a New York flick it was the horrendous Whatever Works, and that Woody can relate to present day Big Apple about as much as a time traveler just arrived from the Bronze Age, but guess what? I didn't hear you! I was too busy watching my Manhattan blu-ray with the volume turned all the way up.

4. Louis CK appears in the film, which is all I need to get me excited about a project these days. Not only is Louis currently in creative zone where he can do no wrong, but as the reigning NY based comedian-auteur he is the closest thing Woody has to a successor. It feels right that they should collaborate. The rest of the cast list: Alec Baldwin, Bobby Cannavale, Andrew Dice Clay, Peter Sarsgaard and Michael Stuhlbarg.

5. The last time Woody had a color and a plant in the title it was called Purple Rose of Cairo and it was a masterpiece. 

So that's all we have to go on for now. In lieu of any production stills from this movie please enjoy this pic from the recent PBS Woody Allen documentary of a young Woody boxing a kangaroo

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Reader Comments (39)

I've seen the photos on the Facebook page

Blanchett's leading the film and she's evidently the "fashionable New York housewife"

so I'm practically CRAZY about this;

I think it was 4 years ago when I realized Woody NEEDS to hire Blanchett and now he's done it.

Dreams do come true.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

I belive the film is mostly set in San Francisco and not New York...

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJan

Only saw half of those. The three that are any good, and Scoop.

However, I am excited to see how Cate Blanchett and Woody work together. Here's hoping for a new (age appropriate) muse.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim

I am very excited about this one, that cast is to die for, but I'm continually saddened every time his cast list is announced and DIANE KEATON isn't on it. Especially after watching that documentary and seeing they are still friendly. COME ON, YOU TWO! Argh.

That said I looooove Woody and I loooove Louis CK but they seem like kind of an odd fit to me. I dunno. I guess I would have said the same thing about CK and David Lynch but then there was that brilliant episode of Louis' show this season and the joke's on me; guess I just shouldn't ever doubt Louis.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJA

There is a little more info around the net, most of the film is set in San Fransisco, Blanchett and Hawkins play adopted sisters, Blanchett has to move in with Hawkins in SF when her wealthy NY lifestyle comes crashing down. In various interviews Hawkins, Dice Clay and Allen have called the film a serious drama and tragic.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohn

C.K seems like someone who will either fit into the Woodyverse perfectly or stand out like a sore thumb. Feel like there is no wiggle room on that. I would say the same of Andrew Dice Clay. The casting is certainly unconventional, anyway!

Of his last eight, Match Point, Vicki Cristina and Midnight are the agreed upon hits, Cassandra's Dream and You WIll Meet... are both excellent, underseen/appreciated films, Scoop is a charming trifle, and Whatever Works and To Rome... Well, I'm a die hard Woody apologist, but even I can't really go to bat for those two.

I am also a perpetual optimist w/r/t Mr. Allen, so of course I'm looking forward to this!

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

The yearly Woody Allen movie is also one of my constants. I've seen all those in the pictures, though I could've done with half of them. I think I haven't missed a single Woody Allen film since Alice! Even when I miss them on theaters, I catch up later. Casting Cate Blanchett sounds promising, but also did the cast in To Rome with Love...

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

I am a Whatever Works defender. It was really funny. Not a great story, but very funny. Better than Midnight in Paris, which I thought was fluffy pseudointellectualism.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTim

I mean, anyone who's watched "Coffee & Cigarettes" and "The Man Who Cried" knows that Cate Blanchett was made to star in an Allen film, can't wait to see what the result is.

It'll be nice to see him do a drama drama, "Interiors" was a good film.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

I loved Match Point...I just have such a vivid memory of seeing it in the movie theater. I don't know why, it stuck with me.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBia

The film sounds delightful. Cate BLanchett is in need of a great role, she has been away for many years now because of her theatrical commitments and has don some very "blah" roles lately. Hopefully, this one will be different and amazing

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbappi

@ bappi

her latest 4 roles in film are:

2012 Galadriel
2011 Marissa Wiegler
2010 Marion Loxley
2008 Daisy

I don't see how any of these roles are anywhere near a "blah" but yeah, we are all entitled to have an opinion.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

I've seen them all. Match Point is a masterpiece. The rest is so uneven.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Love Woody Allen as long as the Woody Whining is kept to a minimum. Midnight in Paris was an enjoyable fantasy with that one proviso of the unforgivable substitute whiner. Now Blue Jasmine sounds like a great premise and if Cate is there, I'm in. .... but please. No Whine before its time.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

The last time Woody had a color and a plant in the title it was called Purple Rose of Cairo and it was a masterpiece.

Jade is a color.

Woody has expressed wanting to work with Blanchett for a long time. My gut says she'll be a return to the types of character work he use to receive for Wiest and Davis.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

by the way, I watched "Husbands & Wives" for the first time around a month ago and I was blown away by Judy Davis' performance.

I think it's one of the best performances I've seen on film.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

The new one sounds interesting but I have some catching up to do on the others. Really enjoyed Midnight in Paris, Match Point and Cassandra's Dream. I thought Vicky was okay but forgettable although I have friends who like it much more than I did. Haven't seen the other four.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Cate Fucking Blanchett. That's all the reason I need to be there on opening night.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

To Rome With Live was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I'm not giving him the benefit of the doubt anymore.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWill h

Woody shooting a film in San Francisco is, essentially, Woody shooting another film in a foreign country.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

I am more excited about Sally Hawkins than Cate Blanchett. Talk about someone who really needs a good role. She's been getting these throw-away roles in semi-high profile projects (An Education, Jane Eyre, Never Let Me Go). Give Sally a Diane Wiest-esque supporting role please please please!

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

I've just realized I saw Cassandra's Dream and don't remember one thing about it. With the exception of Whatever Works (I think the reviews bummed me back then, because I like Evan Rachel Wood so much and I used to see everything she was in) and Scoop, I've seen them all.

I really love Match Point and Midnight. Have no strong feelings for Vicky, though I remember liking it. And hated You'll Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and To Rome. Both so charged with this pretentious energy and doing absolutely nothing for me.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterthais

Charlie G: I'm with you.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichael C.

Hasn't Cate Blanchett already played Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, where the heroine is forced to sell the family property and move in with her sister? I wonder what the sister's husband will look like in the Allen version, and do you think there will be a streetcar in it, in San Francisco?

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterghislaine

Yavor, that's why people are still so pissed at Marisa Tomei (though I DO like her). Judy Davis was brilliant that year, as I think she is every time.

Cate & Woody & San Francisco? It will at least be beautiful and that's enough for me.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Alamitos Beach

I will follow Woody Allen to the ends of the earth.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMego

Sally Hawkins? I'm there.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike M.

You guys can have your Cate Blanchett. I'll be coming for my Sally Hawkins.

And of course, Woody.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergoran


I can answer both your questions, with a help from a copule of links.
First Sally Hawkins was spotted with Bobby Cannavale, who could well be playing her boyfriend/partner in the film, he looks a little Stanley-esque in the 2 pics of him at this link:

And if you look at the gallery of pics at the link below, you will find that they did film a scene with a streetcar:

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohn

@john - A 1947 streetcar! (The year Streetcar Named.. was first produced)

It's kinda sad that not even Louis had the balls to say no to Woody Allen even if he is not still The Woody Allen. Maybe this time the script was good? (OK, that was too aggressive and I'm actually fond of Midnight In Paris and I haven't seen any of the supposed horrible recent flicks of his but I really think Allen doesn't deserve the actors that give him their time.)

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Are you all suggesting this is a Woody Allen take on A Streetcar Named Desire? Because, if this ends up being the case this might be the first time I'm goint to miss completely an Allen film on purpose. Tennessee Williams is probably my favourite playwright and the movie version with Brando and Leigh is just perfection, yes, perfection. As much as I love Woody, his world and Williams' couldn't be more apart, and I don't want to end up hating him at the end of his career, if he butchers the play.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

IMDB lists Blue Jasmine as a comedy?!

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLevi

Is it too early to say Cate Blanchett, Golden Globe Best Actress Musical and Comedy, Blue Jasmine?

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh

I hope it's not a comedy, because out of the eight films above six were comedies, and I liked only one. But I liked one of the two dramas (odds seem to be better). If only he could make something as great as Interiors or Purple Rose of Cairo again. Fingers crossed.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLevi

It's a drama, although I guess it could be considered in the Comedy/Musical category in the same way Vicky Cristina Barcelona (or My Week with Marilyn) were... you know, by commiting fraud.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim

Not hyperbole from me to say in my opinion Match Point is one of the greatest films of the past decade. I vastly prefer his dramas to his comedies. I own Cassandra's Dream on DVD as well. That film feels like it could have been brilliant but was a little uneven and rushed. I hoping the next film is good.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAdamA

I agree with AdamA re Match Point. That is just a terrifically ingenious movie with one of the most built screenplays of the decade.

January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Woody Allen is a genius. I really enjoyed Scoop, Match Point, Whatever Works, Vicky Christina Barcelona, etc. After watching these movies, I' ve started contemplating about varous subjects about life and Woody really inspired me in changing some of my personal views. I love the way he defines his characters, the way he creates the storylines in order to showcase the most deeply feelings from the actors he chooses. I will always know that a movie of his would make my day a better one.

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle33

oolong tea benefits
nice post....

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergreenswan

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