When wealthy Manhattan socialite Jasmine (Blanchett) finds out her philandering financier husband (Baldwin) is headed to jail for fraud, she realizes she has no money, no real friends and no skills. She travels to San Francisco where she depends on the kindness of her working-class sister Ginger (Hawkins). With no realistic job prospects, she sets her sights on a rich diplomat Dwight (Sarsgaard), but she unwisely conceals her past from him. Losing touch with reality, Jasmine becomes ever more unhinged as her life of pretense crumbles around her.
Allen’s 48th time behind the camera yields a female character worthy to be placed alongside the iconic Annie Hall. Blanchett expertly embodies Allen’s cynical, neurotic worldview, giving a finely tuned performance as a modern-day Blanche Du Bois, a woman wobbling between a pretense of confidence and a total mental breakdown. Blanchett is ably supported by Hawkins, Clay, and a slick Baldwin as a Madoff-like scammer. Allen delivers his finest script in many a year, a penetrating character study laced with astute social commentary.