01 February 2014

The Oscars: Blue Jasmine

Since the Golden Globes, where Woody Allen received some sort of lifetime achievement award, there's been a great deal of discussion about his alleged sexual abuse of his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow.  I say alleged because although Dylan remains steadfast in her accusations, no charges were ever brought against him.  I regretfully admit that until recently, although I knew in general that such allegations were made, I knew no specifics and generally took no position one way or the other.  That is to say, I watched his films (and love Midnight in Paris) and gave no thought to the abuse Ms. Farrow maintains that she suffered.

That changed today.  She penned an open letter that was published in today's New York Times.  In it, she details not only the abuse, but also its subsequent physical and psychological manifestations in her life, and as an adult -- arguably free of the influence that her mother supposedly wielded when she was a child -- Ms. Farrow bravely and clearly names Allen as her abuser.  Her words are concise and largely free of the vitriol to which I believe she's more than entitled.

So, about Blue Jasmine.  It's lovely, and Cate Blanchett is stunningly broken and fragile.  I found it to be an almost frame-by-frame modernization of "A Streetcar Named Desire," though Allen replaces Williams's allusions to promiscuity and sexual violence with an illegal white collar investment scheme.  I truly loved watching it, which I suppose is nice, since it's the last Woody Allen film I'll be seeing.

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