by Buzzin' Lee Hartgrave on August 9, 2013

Cate Blanchette will certainly deserve to walk out of Hollywood carrying an “Oscar.” This modern day Woody Allen take on “Streetcar Named Desire” is extremely dramatic. Yep, Woody Allen gives us surprise moments. There is some fun in Allen’s movie — but there is also much tragedy.

Did Woody Allen cast Blanche(tte) so he could have an actress play Blanche (from the black and white movie?

The movie moves from New York to San Francisco locations. Allen uses the Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin side. By the way — there is even little touches of “Tennesse Williams.”

Yep, I bet anything that Blanchette will be nominated for that coveted Oscar for her performance. But I have not forgotten that the cast has delivered a blast of winning performances.

Alec Baldwin (Blanchette’s hubby) is a slimy and slick swindler who conjures up Ponzi schemes. The trounced on Sally Hawkins in the role of Ginger makes you want to get off of your seat and hug her. There are so many nuances in the film that make you want to see it again and again.

This movie can be many things. One of those things is shadows of the famed Bernie Madoff. Like “Streetcar” — Blanchette thinks in the lines of materialistic. She is obsessed with clothes — big homes and high society. Of course, the money comes and goes…’very fast!” It’s all about her. She visibly ages right before your eyes. Yes, she is self-seeking and on her way to the gutter.

Blanchette is in a downhill spiral. We feel sorry for her, as she babbles to anyone who will listen. They didn’t feel sorry — and Jasmine (Blanchett) fades away — ‘crushed’!

ASTOUNDING ACTING! This is a quality film that stays in your mind for days, weeks and months.

Rating: Four Glasses of Champagne!!!! -(highest rating -trademarked-

(Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he produced a long-running Arts and Entertainment Segment on PBS KQED)


The Photo of Lee Hartgrave Boy Reporter is by Jim Ferreira – Film Noir & Hollywood Glamour.



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Buzzin’ Lee Hartgrave

Buzzin’ Lee Hartgrave is a longtime theater critic in the San Francisco Bay Area. His reviews appear each Friday in Beyond Chron.

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