Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

Last weekend I had the pleasure of watch this movie with Cosmic. After browsing through the list of movies currently showing at a nearby multiplex, we decided on Vicky Cristina Barcelona for simple reasons: it was Woody Allen, and it looked like a nice movie - neither of us had great expectations or ideas about it, it just looked... well, nice.

And what we got was somewhat more than that.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona tells us the story of two American friends (the sensible Vicky and the free-spirited Cristina) who spend the summer in Barcelona. Vicky is engaged to be married and is working on her master's thesis on Catalan Studies, and thinks she knows what she wants out of life and love until one night, she and Cristina meet Juan Antonio, a local painter, who makes them an unusual proposal. Despite initial refusal, Vicky decided to go along with it mostly to protect the impulsive Cristina from potential harm, and this will lead them in a spiral of feelings, relationships, and complications, especially when Juan Antonio's troubled and fiery ex-wife, Maria Elena, steps back into the picture.

Where can I start? First things first, the acting. Javier Bardem is a great actor, and he is brilliant in this. He plays his Juan Antonio in such a seductive and enigmatic way that he just keep you glued to the screen whenever he's on it. Penelope Cruz (Maria Elena( also does a great job, as does Rebecca Hall (Vicky), but my absolute favorite was Javier Bardem, no doubt. He is charming, he is sexy, he has one hell of a presence. Scarlett Johansson does not particularly stand out, but she does a pretty decent job.
The writing and dialogue is perfect. It's very wordy and lengthy at times, but so sharp and witty that it charms you, and you wish you could hear these people talk for hours.
I do have to point out something else: the setting. The city of Barcelona was the perfect choice for a movie like this. Everything looks beautiful, charming and golden... I always loved Barcelona, and after seeing this movie I wished I could travel there the next day. It's almost like a character in itself.

It turned out to be a great surprise, because it was a very fullfilling movie, and not just "nice". It was funny, sad, poignant, sexy, and gave you something to think about. An highly enjoyable movie, and I definitely recommend it.

4.5 out of 5 spanish painters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

senti falta de diálogos mais à Woody :/