Riches To Rags: “Blue Jasmine”

Shirah Vollmer MD


“My Xanax is wearing off,” one of the many great lines in this latest Woody Allen movie about class struggles, corruption, and the never-ending search for meaning. The opening scene is one of my favorites. Jasmine, a name she creates in order to be the person she wishes she was, arrives from New York, after flying first class, with loads of expensive luggage, only to tell her blue-collar sister that she has no money. This sharp interchange foreshadows the movie’s theme of how upper class and lower-middle class do not understand each other, leaving a feeling of mutual contempt.   Jasmine’s affluent lifestyle appears to have been a cover for an empty self, causing the many scenes in which she turns to pills or alcohol to “fill her up”. The movie unravels her story in the same way that therapy unravels the patient’s mental state. Each round we learn…

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