Blue Jasmine



Smart, timely Woody Allen dramedy has drinking, pills.
  • Review Date: July 25, 2013
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The film is somewhat bleak, but if there's one message, it's this: What goes around comes around.

Positive role models

Ginger is a pragmatist and a survivor. And although her sister hasn't always been nice to her, she still opens her arms to her. But Jasmine defines herself by her position on the social (and financial ladder), and doesn't seem to understand that the world doesn't live nearly as well as she does. Characters don't readily empathize with one another, and they sometimes sabotage each other, not to mention themselves.


Loud fights between couples, one of which culminates in a woman getting out of a car abruptly (almost while it's still moving). A man screams at a woman's face in anger, roughly grabbing her. One character is very angry, bordering on abusive.


Some kissing and groping, plus allusions to sex, but viewers don't actually see much.


Language includes a couple of uses of "f--k," plus "s--t," "p---y," "a--hole," "hell," "crap," "damn," "goddamn," "Jesus" (as an exclamation), and more.


Brands/products associated with affluence are used to denote someone's "high class" stature: Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Hermes, Polo, and the like.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A woman pops prescription pills and chases them with vodka or any other liquor every chance she can get. (She's clearly developing a drinking and pill-popping problem.) Social drinking at parties.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Blue Jasmine is a Woody Allen-directed dramedy with themes that may be too mature for tweens and younger. The protagonist is mentally unstable and is falling apart right before viewers' eyes. Characters don't readily empathize with one another, and they sometimes sabotage each other, not to mention themselves. There's lots of drinking and pill-popping -- the main character, Jasmine (aka Jeanette), relies on hard liquor and prescription medication to get through the day. Another character is very angry, bordering on abusive, and there's some strong language ("f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," etc.).

What's the story?

Jasmine French (Cate Blanchett) once owned Manhattan, in a manner of speaking. Her husband, Hal (Alec Baldwin), was a successful financier; they were a constant fixture in top social circles. But Jasmine's carefully coiffed and pampered world falls to pieces when Hal is arrested for fraudulent business dealings (a la Bernie Madoff) and their belongings and mansions are seized. Hal ends up in jail, where fate isn't kind to him. So off to San Francisco Jasmine goes to find a new start near her sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins). Ginger's divorced, with an ex-husband (Andrew Dice Clay) who can't stand Jasmine and a new boyfriend, Chili (Bobby Cannavale), whom she dislikes. And then there's the newer guy (Louis C.K.)... Jasmine wants a fresh start, but San Francisco is a far cry from Manhattan, and she isn't made for a humdrum life working the front desk for a pervy dentist. When a dashing gentleman (Peter Sarsgaard) swoops into her life, Jasmine commits to getting him to the altar.

Is it any good?


Woody Allen has been steadily regaining momentum since 2005's Match Point, and, with BLUE JASMINE, it feels like we have him back for good, armed with incisive observations served on a bed of wit and insight. He knows there's plenty to mine in that particular moment of our recent history where it seemed the poor got poorer and the rich got richer until they were caught. In Blanchett, he has an excellent partner. Her chic, pampered Jasmine brings Tennessee Williams' Blanche DuBois to Bernie Madoff's era, ripping at her once beautifully tailored seams. It's a discomfiting sight watching an elegant woman crack up, especially juxtaposed against Hawkins' earthy, practical Ginger, who may always be choosing losers but has both eyes open while doing so. In Allen's movies, people almost always get their comeuppance. Blanchett's triumph is how she still makes us feel sorry for Jasmine even if we don't like her very much.

A minor complaint: Scenes filmed in New York have that specificity that Allen movies always do; but when Blue Jasmine switches to San Francisco, a certain fuzziness sets in despite the appearance of the Golden Gate Bridge and other City by the Bay bonafides. It might as well have been set in Seattle or Chicago. Still, we're glad to see the director in fine form, wherever he chooses to go. For movies like this, we'll follow him anywhere.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether the story Woody Allen is telling in Blue Jasmine is relevant to these times. Why or why not?


  • How does the movie depict drinking and prescription drug use? Are they glamorized at all? Are there realistic consequences?

  • Jasmine and Ginger are sisters. Do they seem like they like each other? Respect each other? Is their relationship a good one?

  • Talk to your kids about Jasmine's plight. Is she a victim or complicit? Are we intended to sympathize with her?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 28, 2013
DVD release date:January 21, 2014
Cast:Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Louis C.K., Sally Hawkins
Director:Woody Allen
Studio:Sony Pictures Classics
Topics:Brothers and sisters
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:mature thematic material, language and sexual content

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 17 years old Written byBestPicture1996 August 29, 2013

The best cast of the year?

Perhaps not 2013's best film, but the dynamic variety of stars including personal favorite Louis C.K. in a bit role, and especially the surprise of the saucy and even electric Clay put this movie in Allen's major league. The non-linear storytelling was very effective in delivering Jasmine's eventual madness that only a master of the trade like Woody could bring to the table and freshen up the last dregs of summer films.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educator and Parent of a 2 and 3 year old Written byabrotmanabrotmanbrot January 27, 2014

Great movie!

Great movie.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written byslasher23 August 16, 2014


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