movie review: blue jasmine


woody allen, cate blanchette, and one major midlife crisis.

annah Horvath might still be a bit of a mess, but even she's ahead of Jasmine, the seriously stressed out heroine of Blue Jasmine. Played by Cate Blanchett, Woody Allen's kinda-sorta protagonist (you don't know whether to love her or hate her) takes the midlife crisis to the next level, complete with sweaty breakdowns, awkward webs of lies, and more than enough hands-covering-eyes cringeworthy moments. But wait, before we go TOO far, let's start from the beginning.

The film follows Jasmine and her husband Hal (played by a smooth-talking Alec Baldwin), who are living the Manhattan high life thanks to Hal's lucrative, but undeniably shady, business deals. He's sketchy in everything he does, including duping Jasmine's sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) into fake investments and cheating on his wife with lots of younger women.

However, Hal eventually gets caught; and once he does, Jasmine's on her own. She's lost her reputation, her snooty friends, and has no other choice but to relocate to San Francisco and move into Ginger's crowded apartment.

The stuff that follows is classic Allen: flashbacks to Jasmine's old life, class struggles between Jasmine and her sister's blue collar boyfriend, and enough neuroses to keep anyone up at night. Jasmine's dealing with the shock of having to leave her dream world for a cold reality, and we're here for the unfortunate wakeup call.

Borrowing key themes from A Streetcar Named Desire, the film is a character study into the depths of Jasmine's complicated history—thanks to Cate Blanchett's compelling performance, it totally works. Whether she's fending off advances from her squirrely new boss or piling lies upon lies in order to get another rich husband, she isn't a likeable character at all. Yet even when she's throwing back Solo cups filled with Stoli vodka, we can't help but root for her (and not to mention, covet her wardrobe). Despite all her issues, Jasmine still manages to wear her Chanel jackets and Fendi suits with the pompous air of someone who would shop at Barney's... even in the midst of a mental breakdown.

You'll leave the theater with a lot of feelings after watching Blue Jasmine, but if there's one thing we know about Woody Allen, it's that style and substance definitelydon't have to be mutually exclusive. This slick film is the perfect example of that.

Blue Jasmine comes out July 26.

Photo courtesy of Balenciaga / Photo via @McDonaldsSverige Instagram

I'm cackling

Last year, Balenciaga released bright red square-toed mules which bore a striking resemblance to McDonald's french fry cartons. Now, the chain has fired back at the designer, threatening to release its own version of the shoes.

McDonald's Sweden posted a photo to its Instagram of a person wearing actual McDonald's fry cartons as shoes, and honestly, if there weren't yellow M's printed onto them, I'd have a hard time distinguishing them from the Balenciagas from a distance. Though the post doesn't directly reference the Balenciaga shoes, one can only assume that's who they are trolling.

McDonald's version actually makes for some pretty fly slip-ons, if you ask me. Good thing the Swedish branch of Mickey D's seems to be considering releasing the shoes if the post receives enough attention. The caption of the Instagram post translates to, "If we get 103042 likes we release these for real," though it only has about 17,000 as of publish time. These would likely cost much less than the Balenciaga shoes, which cost $545.

Internet, do your thing. I want a pair.



Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images.

It marks her third duet with Nas

Here are some words that I never expected to read or hear again: There is a new song with Amy Winehouse. But here we are in 2019, and Salaam Remi has granted me a wish. On Valentine's Day, the Grammy-nominated producer and frequent Winehouse collaborator (also responsible for hits like Miguel's "Come Through & Chill") released "Find My Love" which features rapper Nas and that powerful and haunting voice that I have come to love and cherish so dearly.

Representatives for Remi said that the Winehouse vocals were from an old jam session the two had. Remi was a producer on both of Winehouse's albums, Frank and Back to Black. "Find My Love" marks the third time Winehouse and Nas have done duets under the direction of Remi. They were previously heard together on "Like Smoke," a single from her 2011 posthumous album Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures, and "Cherry Wine" from Nas' 2012 album Life Is Good. Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011, before they could complete production on her third album. My heart is still broken about it as she is by far my favorite artist.

"Find My Love" is set to appear on Remi's Do It for the Culture 2, a collection of songs curated by him. Check it out, below.