Many famous film directors tarnish the legacies of their early films with heinous, latter day sins on celluloid. This tendency for the realisateur to degrade instinct and sense over time and age has proved untrue for Woody Allen.
The trailer for his next film, Blue Jasmine, does its marketing duty, and proves the 77-year-old still has the wherewithal to write and direct good comedy and bad romance.
The film focuses around Cate Blanchett’s eponymous Jasmine, who moves to San Francisco to be with her sister after her husband and she get in financial trouble. If the trailer, and Allen’s recent work, are any clue, the trysts, romantic intrigue, and tightly wound suspense run rich through Blue Jasmine like they did in Vicky Christina Barcelona and Match Point.
To effect, the trailer’s best selling point is the cast. The blend of tasteful melodrama with adult humor is manifest in the players themselves. With names like Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, Michael Emerson, Sally Hawkins, and Peter Sarsgaard, the bill reads more like a cool awards season after party guest list than a cast of characters. But will this blend of out-and-out comedians and actor’s actors blend well together? Consider the theatrical ham-handedness of Louis CK, who is, by his own, admission, a terrible actor. How will Dice keep up with the upbeat performances by his peers on screen? He’ll need two Viagra just to keep his posture straight. OH!
Overall, the people who get excited about any given Allen film should get their hopes up for Jasmine, which hits screens July 26. It looks like it will not be another Whatever Works.