Blue Jasmine, the masks we wear and Halloween

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Last month film club went to see the latest addition to the Woody Allen filmography ‘Blue Jasmine’. The film was a great watch with amazing performances from Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins. It is a film with everything humour, poignancy, emotive, killer dialogue and everything we have come to expect from one of our times great directors.

It has however taken me a while to compose my thoughts and only this week did things finally come into focus. The main problem I had was that I struggled to balance the humour with what the films main issue is in the portraying a character unravelling right before our eyes.

Jasmine is a woman in distress,  a woman who was wronged and a woman who now self medicates with prescription drugs and alcohol to cope with her distress.It is a powerhouse performance by Cate Blanchett and one surely Oscar worthy.

Coming away from the screening I was struck by Jasmine’s inability to maintain her mask of the perfect woman. This is especially apparent in a diner scene where she unravels in front of her nephews where the mask not only comes away but falls flat on the floor.

This Sunday at church we had an unexpected visitor, a man in a mask. He listened to the sermon for a few minutes before standing declaring our damnation and leaving. You can read about his visit here.

His visit has stuck with me all week he may have been someone like Jasmine, in distress, perhaps hurt previously by the church or similar institutions. Sadly he left as quickly ass he appeared before anyone could properly chat to him and ask.

Church can be a house of masks from time to time. We have all been there putting on a mask from time to time  before crossing the threshold to cover what is wrong, the hurts we are going through, the stresses, the strains, portray the perfect family. Occasionally though the masks slip and sometimes they fall to the floor in surrender.

To be a church in the truest sense we must all be prepared to let the masks go, surrender to God and surrender to each other in our weaknesses.

Happy Halloween today is the day for dressing up but when today is done lets leave the masks behind.

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