Blue Jasmine

Rated 3.0

A snooty New York socialite (Cate Blanchett), left penniless when her crooked financier husband (Alec Baldwin) goes to prison, moves in with her working-class sister in San Francisco (Sally Hawkins). Critic Walter Kerr once wrote, “Neil Simon didn't have an idea for a play this year, but he wrote one anyway.” Well, Woody Allen didn't have an idea for a movie, so he did a riff on A Streetcar Named Desire. But Allen never gets the colored lights going. The role of Stanley Kowalski is drained of sexual energy and divvied up between the sister's ex-husband (Andrew Dice Clay) and present boyfriend (Bobby Cannavale); without that conflict, Streetcar lacks a core, and one is missing here. The whole is less than the sum of its parts, though some parts (especially Blanchett's performance) are well worth watching.