Blue Jasmine ★★★

Gets better as it goes along, but begins terribly, with a lot of the sloppy, careless writing that has characterized the Woodman's more recent output. Given how frequently Allen flashes back to Jasmine's life before her husband became a Bernie Madoff-like disgrace, the amount of exposition he stuffs into the first 10 or 15 minutes is curious and unnecessary. And as with Whatever Works and Cassandra's Dream, the humble class is treated broadly and inauthentically: Does Allen not realize that Ginger's two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is miraculously spacious for a single mother of two who bags groceries for a living? And he's very lucky to have an actor of Bobby Cannavale's caliber to redeem "Chili"; with his ridiculous hair and wardrobe, he could have been "Scumbag X" in Hollywood Ending, but Cannavale gives him humor and soul.

But as I said, it gets better. Blanchett is terrific as advertised, and the ending is admirably tough.