Film studies teacher at Newton South High School in Newton, MA.
Oh Blue Jasmine. How I want to love you!
But I can't. Because you're a fake. And I'm not giving this movie a backhanded compliment, as in, the movie's as fake as its protagonist. That would be giving it too much credit, and I am not among the critical masses hyperbolizing about this middling, artificial, and stunted little movie.
Allen's characters feel like literary tropes, faded archetypes whose irrelevance in a contemporary milieu awkwardly shades the entire film. You could…
Is this the greatest of all ransom thrillers?
Is this the most satisfying, most intelligent, most morally complex, most surprising, most shocking of Kurosawa's contemporary-set dramas?
Is this the film that I will show to my students to demonstrate the way that STORY form can establish, develop, and emphasize THEMATIC value?
Can't wait to see what my students think!
Ok ok ok. I know. This one's got some ardent, passionate fans. They deserve to be enthusiastic, even if I don't share their devotion. It is thus with a note of humility and caution that I approach this review.
First off, this movie IS valuable because it helps us ask a very important question about movies and narrative. That question is: what differentiates between a willfully obscure narrative and witlessly obscure one? That is, how can we tell the difference…