Fading Gigolo (2013)

John Turturro is the main lead in this insightful film, which he has also written and directed. The story is about the oldest profession, but the twist is sensitive. His chemistry with Woody Allen is perhaps the best, who acts as his ‘agent’. Beneficiaries include Sharon Stone, Sofia Vergara and Vanessa Paradis. Liev Schreiber provides the complication in the end.

The writing of the film makes it unique, where we are not concerned about ‘the act’ itself, but the lead up to it. We wonder of course, why the likes of Sharon Stone, for example, would ever require such services. It goes to show that everyone is struggling with their own reality and being attractive isn’t a confirmed ticket to ‘mating’.

Watch this otherwise mild concoction for a very strong subject, which entertains and enlightens.



Blue Jasmine (2013)

Only Woody Allen can attempt such films and do justice to them. We have seen why actors have been lauded for their performances in the past. They get into the character, display a range of emotions. They are raw, unaffected, soulful, dramatic or understated.

Cate Blanchett manages to do all of the above mentioned, in one scene, weaving in and out of hysteria, breathlessness, denial, delusion, throughout the film. To beat Meryl Streep’s performance in August Osage County, she did something right. Strike that. Many things right. And just for that you should watch her as Jasmine.

Alec Baldwin lends able support, as do Sally Hawkins, Bobby Cannavale and Andrew Dice Clay. What we learn about are ‘patterns’. Either we repeat them, or we doubt them and try and break them. The key is to identify which ones are good for us, and which ones are detrimental.

The music makes the turmoil easier to digest and the skyline gives us something concrete to balance the erratic behaviour of the cast.