Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) Poster

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

  • Rate: 7.2/10 total 87,737 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Romance
  • Release Date: 15 August 2008 (USA)
  • Runtime: 96 min
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Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

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Vicky Cristina Barcelona 2008tt0497465.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
  • Rate: 7.2/10 total 87,737 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Romance
  • Release Date: 15 August 2008 (USA)
  • Runtime: 96 min
  • Filming Location: Avilés, Asturias, Spain
  • Budget: $15,500,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $23,213,577(USA)(15 February 2009)
  • Director: Woody Allen
  • Stars: Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem
  • Soundtrack: Entre Las Olas
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital (Mono)
  • Plot Keyword: Summer | Painter | Artist | Oviedo | Marriage

Writing Credits By:

  • Woody Allen (written by)

Known Trivia

  • For his brief driving scene in this movie, Javier Bardem underwent hours of driving instruction and still didn’t have a driver’s license to show for his efforts when the movie wrapped.
  • The city of Barcelona offered to pick up the tab of production costs if the film was shot there, the amount rose up to two million Euros from public funds. Ultimately, the filmmakers shot in Barcelona.
  • Woody Allen wrote the parts of Cristina and Juan Antonio with Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem in mind. Apparently, Bardem was his first and only choice for the male lead.
  • A part of the film is set in the city of Oviedo. One of the sights of Oviedo that was not featured in the film is a life size statue of Woody Allen which was installed in 2003.
  • The movie features several books about sexuality : the novel Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (when Vicky tries to sleep and Cristina writes poetry in the kitchen), The Sexual Life of Catherine M. by Catherine Millet (read by Cristina later in the movie) and Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller (read by Cristina right after the scene kissing with Juan Antonio and Maria Elena in the dark room)
  • This is the fourth consecutive film where Woody Allen has filmed outside of the United States (after Match Point, Scoop and Cassandra’s Dream). New York does feature as a filming location in the film but it is believed Allen has tired of filming in New York, hence the existence of European locations in his recent work.
  • This is the third film that Woody Allen has made with Scarlett Johansson after Match Point and Scoop.
  • The title is a conflation of the character names of the two lead actresses as well as the movie’s major setting (i.e. Vicky and Cristina and Barcelona). The title does not the represent the name of a character called Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
  • With PenĂ©lope Cruz winning an Oscar for her role as Maria Elena in this film, it continues a mini-trend of young actresses winning Best Supporting Actress Oscars in Woody Allen films after Mira Sorvino in Mighty Aphrodite and Dianne Wiest in Hannah and Her Sisters and Bullets Over Broadway.
  • The film features Barcelona as both a setting and a word in the movie’s title. New York director Whit Stillman was once labeled the new Woody Allen after making his first film Metropolitan. Coincidentally, Stillman’s subsequent film was called Barcelona.

Goofs: Continuity: (At 56:00) After Maria Elena moves in, they are having breakfast outdoors. Juan Antonio serves coffee for Cristina and takes the sugar bowl which is in front of Maria Elena in the foreground, and puts it in front of Cristina. The sugar bowl travels back and forth (three times) during the scene.

Plot: Two girlfriends on a summer holiday in Spain become enamored with the same painter, unaware that his ex-wife, with whom he has a tempestuous relationship, is about to re-enter the picture. Full summary »  »

Story: Sexually adventurous Cristina and her friend Vicky, who is bright but cautious, holiday in Barcelona where they meet the celebrated and wholly seductive painter, Juan Antonio. Vicky is not about to dive into a sexual adventure being committed to her forthcoming marriage. But Cristina is immediately captivated by Juan Antonio's free spirit and his romantic allure is enhanced when she hears the delicious details of his divorce from fellow artist, the tempestuous Maria Elena.Written by johnno.r[at]xtra.co.nz  

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Letty Aronson known as producer
  • Bernat Elias known as line producer
  • Eva Garrido known as associate producer: Mediapro
  • Charles H. Joffe known as co-executive producer
  • Javier Méndez known as co-executive producer
  • Helen Robin known as co-producer
  • Jack Rollins known as co-executive producer
  • Jaume Roures known as executive producer
  • Stephen Tenenbaum known as producer
  • Tadeo Villalba hijo known as associate producer (as Tedy Villalba)
  • Gareth Wiley known as producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Rebecca Hall known as Vicky
  • Scarlett Johansson known as Cristina
  • Christopher Evan Welch known as Narrator (voice)
  • Chris Messina known as Doug
  • Patricia Clarkson known as Judy
  • Kevin Dunn known as Mark
  • Julio Perillán known as Charles
  • Juan Quesada known as Guitarist in Barcelona
  • Ricard Salom known as Art Gallery Guest
  • Maurice Sonnenberg known as Art Gallery Guest
  • Javier Bardem known as Juan Antonio
  • Manel Barceló known as Doctor
  • Josep Maria Domènech known as Julio
  • Emilio de Benito known as Guitarist in Asturias
  • Jaume Montané known as Juan Antonio's Friend
  • Lloll Bertran known as Juan Antonio's Friend (as Lloll Bertrán)
  • Joel Joan known as Juan Antonio's Friend
  • Sílvia Sabaté known as Juan Antonio's Friend (as Silvia Sabaté)
  • Penélope Cruz known as Maria Elena
  • Pablo Schreiber known as Ben
  • Carrie Preston known as Sally
  • Zak Orth known as Adam
  • Abel Folk known as Jay
  • Jordi Basté known as Art Gallery Guest (uncredited)
  • Michael Bennett known as Art Gallery Bartender (uncredited)
  • Paco Mir known as Art Gallery Guest (uncredited)
  • Oliver Moon known as Party Guest (uncredited)
  • Joan Pera known as Art Gallery Guest (uncredited)
  • Rodrigo Rojas known as Party Guest (uncredited)

..

 

Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Ana Caballero known as makeup assistant
  • Robert Fama known as hairstylist: New York
  • Manolo García known as hair designer
  • Lori Hicks known as makeup artist: New York
  • Ana Lozano known as makeup designer
  • Jesús Martos known as hairdresser
  • Esther Plaza known as makeup assistant
  • Eva Quilez known as makeup artist (as Eva Quílez)

Art Department:

  • Laia Ateca known as art department assistant
  • Laia Ateca known as art department runner
  • Chan Canelo known as set dresser
  • Paula de la Fuente known as props buyer
  • Miguel Ángel Delgado known as set props (as Miguel Angel Delgado)
  • Blanca Francolí known as props buyer assistant
  • Joxean Goya known as set dresser
  • Carlos Grané known as set props (as Carles Grané)
  • Daniel K. Grosso known as leadman: New York (as Danny Grosso)
  • Santo Loquasto known as art director: New York
  • Ivette Massip known as art department runner
  • Marina Pozanco known as props buyer

..

 

Company

Production Companies:

  • Weinstein Company, The (presents)
  • Mediapro (producer)
  • Gravier Productions (producer) (as Gravier)
  • Antena 3 Films (in association with)
  • Antena 3 Televisión (in association with) (as Antena 3 TV)
  • Televisió de Catalunya (TV3) (in association with)

Other Companies:

  • 42West  publicity (as 42 West)
  • AON/Albert G. Ruben Insurance Services  insurance (as AON/Albert G. Ruben, Inc.)
  • ASG Cine y Figuracion  extras casting: Asturias-Spain
  • Barcelona Plato Film Commission  special thanks
  • Big Film Design  title design by
  • Bird & Bird  legal services: Madrid
  • Bird & Bird  legal services: London
  • Camera Service Rental  supplier (as Camara Service)
  • City National Bank  production financing
  • Cámara Rent  supplier (as Camara Rent)
  • D.J. Sound  supplier (as DJ Sound)
  • Detres Escenografies  supplier
  • Enelmo  supplier (as Enelmo S.L.)
  • Grau Luminotecnia  supplier
  • Guns & Films  supplier
  • Hyperactive Publicity  publicity
  • International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE)  this picture made under the jurisdiction of (as I.A.T.S.E.)
  • Limousines Barcelona  supplier
  • Loeb & Loeb  legal services (as Loeb & Loeb)
  • Modasa  supplier
  • Modern VideoFilm  post-production facilities
  • Nunu  set security
  • On Set Location Services  supplier (as On Set Location Service LLC)
  • Orbit Digital  thanks
  • Ovide B S  supplier: remote video (as Ovide)
  • Phoenix  set security
  • Postworks New York  thanks (as Postworks)
  • Rafael Servicios de Catering  catering
  • Riskmedia International  insurance
  • Rol  extras casting (as Rol S.L.)
  • Sadilsa  supplier
  • Schedule 2  technical services: worldwide
  • Sound One  sound re-recording (as Sound One Corp.)
  • Telarc Records  soundtrack
  • Universal Studios Licensing  courtesy of: "Shadow of a Doubt" footage

Distributors:

  • Acme Film (2008) (Lithuania) (theatrical)
  • Aerofilms (2008) (Czech Republic) (theatrical)
  • Alliance Films (2008) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Asmik Ace Entertainment (2009) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • Bazuca Films (2009) (Chile) (theatrical)
  • Cinéart (2008) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Festive Films (2008) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • Filmware International (2008) (Taiwan) (theatrical)
  • Frenetic Films (2008) (Switzerland) (theatrical)
  • Golden Village Entertainment (2008) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • Hopscotch Entertainment (2008) (Australia) (theatrical)
  • Kitokio kino klubas (2011) (Lithuania) (theatrical)
  • Mediapro (2008) (Spain) (theatrical)
  • Optimum Releasing (2008) (UK) (theatrical)
  • Pachamama Cine (2009) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • Prime Entertainment (2009) (South Korea) (theatrical)
  • Scanbox Entertainment (2008) (Finland) (theatrical)
  • Spentzos Films (2008) (Greece) (theatrical)
  • Viva International Pictures (2009) (Philippines) (theatrical)
  • Weinstein Company, The (2008) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Alliance (2008) (Canada) (DVD)
  • Argentina Video Home (2009) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • BNN TV (2012) (Netherlands) (TV)
  • Bir Film (2008) (Turkey) (all media)
  • Central Partnership (2008) (Russia) (all media)
  • Concorde Home Entertainment (2009) (Germany) (DVD)
  • Discovery Film & Video Distribution (2008) (Croatia) (all media)
  • Eurofilms (2009) (Peru) (all media)
  • Film1 (2009) (Netherlands) (TV) (limited)
  • Genius Products (2009) (USA) (DVD)
  • Genius Products (2009) (USA) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Panorama Distributions (2010) (Hong Kong) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Scanbox Entertainment (2009) (Finland) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Twin Pics (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Twin Pics (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD) (Blu-ray)

..

 

Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Big Film Design (visual effects by)
  • Technicolor Digital Intermediates (visual effects)

Visual Effects by:

  • Randall Balsmeyer known as visual effects designer: Big Film Design
  • Ella Boliver known as 2D compositor: Big Film Design
  • J. John Corbett known as 2D compositor: Big Film Design
  • Bora Jurisic known as digital effects artist
  • Bogdan Mihajlovic known as lead modeler
  • Dragan Miokovic known as digital effects artist
  • Jesse Morrow known as digital artist
  • Vadim Turchin known as 3D animator: Big Film Design
  • Adrienne Winterhalter known as visual effects producer: Big Film Design

Release Date:

  • France 17 May 2008 (Cannes Film Festival)
  • USA 15 August 2008
  • Finland 24 August 2008 (Espoo Film Festival)
  • Spain 18 September 2008 (San Sebastián Film Festival)
  • Spain 19 September 2008
  • Brazil 25 September 2008 (Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival)
  • Singapore 25 September 2008
  • Greece 27 September 2008 (Athens Film Festival)
  • Croatia 2 October 2008
  • Norway 3 October 2008
  • Mexico 4 October 2008 (Morelia Film Festival)
  • Belgium 6 October 2008 (Gent International Film Festival)
  • France 8 October 2008
  • Switzerland 8 October 2008 (French speaking region)
  • Greece 9 October 2008
  • Hong Kong 9 October 2008
  • Taiwan 9 October 2008
  • Italy 10 October 2008
  • Sweden 10 October 2008
  • Israel 14 October 2008 (Haifa Film Festival)
  • Israel 16 October 2008
  • Brazil 17 October 2008 (São Paulo International Film Festival)
  • UK 21 October 2008 (London Film Festival)
  • Czech Republic 23 October 2008
  • Belgium 29 October 2008
  • Finland 31 October 2008
  • Brazil 14 November 2008
  • Lithuania 14 November 2008
  • Hungary 20 November 2008
  • Denmark 21 November 2008
  • Spain 21 November 2008 (Festival de Cinema en Valencià Inquiet)
  • Germany 4 December 2008
  • Switzerland 4 December 2008 (German speaking region)
  • Austria 5 December 2008
  • Mexico 5 December 2008
  • Indonesia 9 December 2008 (Jakarta International Film Festival)
  • Netherlands 11 December 2008
  • Australia 26 December 2008
  • Colombia 9 January 2009
  • Estonia 9 January 2009
  • Turkey 9 January 2009
  • Lebanon 15 January 2009
  • Portugal 22 January 2009
  • Russia 22 January 2009
  • Kazakhstan 29 January 2009
  • Iceland 30 January 2009
  • Uruguay 30 January 2009
  • Argentina 5 February 2009
  • UK 6 February 2009 (limited)
  • Ireland 13 February 2009
  • UK 13 February 2009
  • Philippines 18 February 2009
  • Peru 26 February 2009
  • Romania 23 March 2009 (B-Est International Film Festival)
  • Romania 3 April 2009
  • South Korea 16 April 2009
  • Poland 17 April 2009
  • Japan 27 June 2009
  • Panama 24 July 2009
  • India 26 March 2010

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving sexuality, and smoking

..

 
 

Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database


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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , .

10 Comments

  1. ametaphysicalshark from prejudicemadeplausible.wordpress.com
    30 Mar 2012, 5:32 pm

    Although this film has bizarrely been described as breezy summerentertainment by some top critics (which leads me to wonder if they sawthe same movie I did, or just the first half hour), "Vicky CristinaBarcelona" is the closest thing to the sort of examination ofrelationships that Allen became famous for in quite some time("Anything Else" counts, I suppose, but lacks the sharpness this filmhas), and although it is far from as weighty as some of his dramas oreven some of his comedies, this is his first really inspired script ina while, featuring a cast of detailed, well-developed characters, somerazor-sharp observations on relationships, and a wicked sense of humor.

    Although I never thought Woody's work this decade was particularly poor(other than "Cassandra's Dream" and although I'm in a minority "MatchPoint"), it has mostly been completely inconsequential and almostentirely dependent on broad characterizations and heavy plotting ratherthan real people and awkwardly comic situations (which has always beenAllen's strong suit). A career-best performance from ScarlettJohansson, a wickedly entertaining turn from Penelope Cruz, and theabsolute revelation that is Rebecca Hall form a great cast along withJavier Bardem in a role that may surprise the majority of the Americanpublic (well, for most of the movie, anyway). You can feel Allen's markon their mannerisms, but they all seem to disappear into thesecharacters, that's how good they are.

    I'm keeping this as spoiler-free as possible, because it's really worthgoing into the theater not expecting anything in particular andsavoring the film's often unexpected but never contrived plot twistsand turns. All you should know is that Vicky (Rebecca Hall) andCristina (Scarlett Johansson) go to Barcelona for the summer and thingsget complicated when they meet a charming, mysterious, and rich painter(Javier Bardem) and he makes a rather upfront proposition to both ofthem. It's best if you know nothing of how Cruz' character impacts thefilm prior to watching it.

    In relation to Allen's other work I thought it was interesting that henever attempted to analyze sex. The whole movie is in many ways aboutsex, and there is a lot of the expected philosophical and psychologicalexamination of the relationships between the characters in the film,but sex itself is never analyzed as it is in much of Allen's work, andis instead treated as the impenetrable mystery it is. That said,Allen's script is extraordinarily nuanced, something that I haven'texpected from his writing in a while. Sure, the characters stillrepresent opposing romantic philosophies, but there's a spark in thewriting that makes these feel like real people as opposed to merecharacters. That spark, that chemistry is there throughout "VickyCristina Barcelona", it's there in the vibrant cinematography by JavierAguirresarobe, it's there in the performances, it's there in the shotcomposition, and it's there in the editing, and in pretty much anythingelse I haven't mentioned yet.

    The first forty minutes or so of "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" may be thesort of romantic comedy (very good romantic comedy, at that) that theadvertising campaign seems to suggest it is, but for the rest of thefilm there's the sort of pessimistic optimism that colors much ofAllen's work (if that makes sense, pretend you didn't read it if itdidn't), and let's just say it doesn't end well for these characters.There's real complexity and intensity in this film, and all I have tosay is this: Woody Allen is back, the perceptive, intelligent examinerof the human heart, that is, not what we've had for the past while. Tosay this is one of his best films would be ignoring the fact thatthrough the 70's and 80's he pretty much made nothing but great films,but I can at least say that this is on par with some of his betterwork.

    8.5/10

  2. thankyoumrwilly from LA, California
    30 Mar 2012, 5:32 pm

    I just got back from a free screening of this movie. Wonderful,brilliant, thought provoking, funny, great story in the way only WoodyAllen could do. The acting was great, the writing was great, the storywas great. As well as the fact that it wasn't a poor rehash of Crimesand Misdemeanors like Match Point and Cassandra's Dream. So refreshingon all levels. Javier Bardem embodies the character and truly allows meto forget about his role in Old Country. Patricia Clarkson, a gem asalways. The girls were all great. Had not been impressed with ScarlettJohansson since Lost in Translation and was bored with her work in thelast of his films but she held her own and did the part great. PenélopeCruz was wonderful, vibrate and funny especially when doing theSpanish. At 71 the man still has it and has rehashed the place in myheart where I hold his wonderful art. Simply happy and fulfilled. Thankyou Woody!

  3. David H. Schleicher from New Jersey, USA
    30 Mar 2012, 5:32 pm

    Vicky (a neurotic and sexy Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (a neurotic andgorgeous Scarlett Johansson) are two American tourists in Spainexamining their differing views on love in Woody Allen's breezy andalluring "Vicky Cristina Barcelona". Amidst a tempestuous summer inBarcelona, the ladies are both seduced by a free-thinking painter (aperfect Javier Bardem) whose own life is complicated by his stillpassionate relationship with his ex-wife (a devastating Penelope Cruz,who has never looked more beautiful).

    Much like the change from New York City to London invigorated Allen in"Match Point", this vacation to Spain has revived some of thedirector's more artistic aspirations. The scenery is postcard perfectbut drenched in that same dizzying lushness that made Allen's view ofNYC so intoxicating in "Manhattan". The churches, the homes, the artmuseums, the countryside, the intimate city streets and touristydetails make you feel like you are visiting Barcelona along with Allenand his cast.

    There's also sharpness to the trademark Woody dialog that has beenmissing for quite some time. Like all of Allen films, this one isendlessly talky, but there's some great subversion when certain linesthat seem like throw-aways actually pack a punch when given a secondthought. When Bardem first attempts to talk Johansson's character intobed, he says something clichéd about her being hard to please. Quickwitted, Johansson replies, "I'm famous for my intolerance." She says itcasually, but it packs a bite as it's the complete antithesis of hercharacter's outward desire to be someone who rallies against culturalnorms, and she presents herself as someone who is easy-going andtolerant of all.

    Allen also displays a keen sense of pacing when he creates tension inhis build up to Cruz's appearance after her character is endlesslytalked about but never seen until about half way through the film. WhenCruz finally arrives, her moody whirling dervish of a performance isthe perfect spice to liven up the soupy proceedings. Her seething,fiery line readings combined with looks that could kill make her thefront-runner for Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars.

    The baseline archetypal characters are essentially clichéd, but the wayin which Allen handles all of their interpersonal relationships isfairly sophisticated and entertaining even when it grows absurd. Thereis of course that kiss between Scarlett and Penelope but also somemoments of Lynchian-lite when Allen photographs the brunette Hall andblonde Johansson similarly to make them seem like they are two sides ofthe same woman. There's even more weirdness when die-hard Woody fansrealize that in some perverse way Scarlett Johansson's character is the"Woody" part–as in any film he does not star, there is always onecharacter who represents the part he would've played had he been in it.However, film buffs will enjoy some of the nice touches like when Halland another go to see Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt" (one of my alltime favorite films) or the repetitive use of a Spanish guitar in thesoundtrack whenever Bardem and Hall get together. But then there's themostly unnecessary voice-over narration that fills in expository gapsand shows Allen can still be a lazy tactician.

    Woody Allen has always been an acquired taste, even more so in hislatter years when he sometimes forgets how to provoke, but his fansshould be delighted with this latest European flavored effort. In theend, you'll feel like Javier Bardem is the luckiest man in the world,Penelope Cruz is operating at the echelon of her appeal, and RebeccaHall and Scarlett Johansson, well, they'll always have Barcelona.

  4. doughboynyc from New York City
    30 Mar 2012, 5:32 pm

    Vicky Christina Barcelona isn't quite the work of genius that severalcritics are making it out to be, but it is Woody Allen's most solidfilm in nearly a decade and by far his sexiest.

    I will admit that the claims that it's his best movie in 20 years mayhave raised my expectations unfairly. After all, the past two decadeshas brought us Sweet and Lowdown (inspired Sean Penn and SamanthaMorton), Another Woman (inspired Gena Rowlands), Husbands and Wives(inspired Judy Davis), Bullets Over Broadway ("Don't Speak!") and what,in my humble opinion, is his most extraordinary film ever: Crimes andMisdemeanors.

    That said, there is much in the film's Plus Column. Bardem has neverbeen sexier in English. Rebecca Hall is a sublime revelation. ScarlettJohansson does her most consistent and least grating work since GirlWith the Pearl Earring. The supporting cast is a treasure trove ofgreat character actors: Kevin Dunn (usually but effectively charmless),Chris Messina (a complicated mix of sexy and dull), Pablo Schreiber(virtually a cameo), and Patricia Clarkson (earthy, tragic and terrificas always).

    And then there's Penelope Cruz. Incapable of wrong-doing in my eyessince All About My Mother, she is everything you've heard she is. Atfirst, the character appears to be another version of Rahda Mitchell'sbad Melinda only dark and Spanish. But she evolves and blossoms, like amushroom cloud in slow motion.

    The story is simple and the structure is a bit unwieldy. As a result,the film feels longer than it is and while it does saunter, it's neverboring. The screenplay seems more concerned with re-arranging theconfigurations of lovers and exploring its themes than it does withsustaining the dramatic tension.

    The films only significant, though ultimately not fatal, flaw is MissJohansson. For the legions who thought Javier Bardem could generateromantic and sexual chemistry with anyone or anything, well, I have badnews. When she is sharing the screen with both Bardem and Cruz,Johansson's limitations as an actor and as a screen presence.

    Ultimately, though, Vicky Christina Barcelona is still a worthwhileendeavor. An enjoyable romp filled the requisite angst and passion ofWoody Allen's better efforts. Best of all, there's Spain and Barcelona.The landscapes, people and architecture provide even more spectacularreal estate porn than Melinda & Melinda. Not only does it make you wantto go to Barcelona, it will make you feel like you've lived there andloved it.

    Despite its unevenness,

  5. jzappa from Cincinnati, OH, United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:32 pm

    Vicky Cristina Barcelona is among the cream of the Woody Allen crop, inthe midst of Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters and MatchPoint. It may even be a wiser film than any of them. What Woody hasdone throughout his film career is seek the answers to his own lifequestions in any number of ways. Some later films contradict thephilosophical implications of previous ones. Some reaffirm them. Hisforemost theme has always been the complications of love and sex, andthis ultimately genre-less film that I suppose could be considered aromantic seriocomedy may be his magnum opus of his sexual and romanticrevelations.

    Vicky, played by Rebecca Hall, and Cristina, by Scarlet Johansson, goto Barcelona for the summer, settling with Vicky's distant relative(Patricia Clarkson) and her husband. A Narrator, present all throughthe film, the particular matter-of-fact likes of which Allen has neverbefore used, illustrates the two friends: Vicky is no-nonsense andconservative in her attitude toward love and commitment, engaged to thedependable but less than passionate yuppie. She is in Barcelona gettingher masters, and is deeply stirred by Spanish guitar. Cristina, incontrast, is impulsive and irresolute of what she wants in life. She isjust out of a relationship and wants to forget about her experiencemaking a short film about Love, perhaps a nod to Woody's own admittednegative reflections on his previous works.

    At an art exhibition, these two symbolically contrasting women observea notorious painter, played with suavity and charisma by Javier Bardem.Cristina is immediately fascinated with him, and grows captivated whenshe and Vicky learn that he has undergone a violent relationship withhis ex-wife. Later, the girls spot him in a restaurant, where hestoically approaches their table and unexpectedly invites them to goalong with him to Oviedo, where they will tour, wine, dine and, withany luck, make love. Straight away Cristina consents, Vicky refuses,but Vicky is is ultimately persuaded and the twosome go with the self-designed artistic and drifting romantic on a small private planethrough a rainstorm.

    What follows is a free-flowing rectangle of romance with anycombination of Bardem, Vicky, Cristina, and Bardem's unmanageablyvolatile ex-wife Penelope Cruz, who deserves an Oscar nomination forher work here. There are many ways in which the two American womenchange for the better and change not at all. One facet of the story isa clash of conventional American and liberated European cultures.Another is spiritual freedom, signified by Vicky's conventionalreticence and thus conflicted feelings that she may be missing out onso much, and Cristina's mutability. A lesser title for the movie but anapt one nonetheless could have been Why Not?

    Woody is expressing through his characters his urge to be free of allpsychological and emotional restrictions. In any case, characters asopen as Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem's seem to need similarlyadaptable significant others. I find it interesting that Louise Lasser,Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow, Woody's women, all brought out their innernebbishes due to intimate involvement with him, as in his eagerness tolift a lover's state of mind, he ends up, sooner or later, virtuallyturning his woman roughly into a female version of himself. Johanssonand Hall's summer in Spain, if anything, releases them from the sludgeof mediocrity, particularly that which results from fear and commoncustom.

    By saying all that, I have not even come close to giving anything away.The way things turn out would hardly make sense to characters likeVicky, or her fiancé, and that is what makes it a natural flow from theheart. Woody Allen's brilliantly written, guilelessly directed andconvincingly acted Spanish debut-and-swan song is not a comedy for thesame reasons as nearly every other comedy Woody has made. It is acomedy essentially because of the culture clash. The film depends onour reactions to things that really are not inherently funny except tounaccustomed eyes. Likewise, the bewildered Americans are just as funnyfrom the other side of the gamut. Without any doubt in my mind, this isnot only Woody Allen's best film in years, but one of his very best ofhis entire 42-film, 42-year career as a writer-director of consistentlygood films.

  6. ako-23 from Occupied Palestinian Territory
    30 Mar 2012, 5:32 pm

    First of all i would like to say that I'm a big fan of the old woodyAllen , i mean the great director/writer woody Allen , who created inover thirty years in the business some of the most romantic , funny .dramatic , masterpieces that shined in Hollywood starting from AnnieHall , to Hannah and her sisters , Mighty Aphrodite , and last but notleast Sweet and lowdown . But the new woody Allen has produced manyunbalanced , mildly funny , and romantically dead movies such asMelinda and Melinda which was acceptable , but not a woody Allenmaterial , Hollywood Ending which wasn't so bad as well but wasn't goodeither , and this year his latest film came out and i had mixed feelingabout it , i was frightened that another disappointing movie from themaster Allen could destroy my love to his earlier masterpieces , andunfortunately , it was even more disappointing than i could everimagine .

    The movie's basic concept is actually more similar to a combination ofBaywatch and Desperate housewives , but apparently with higher level ofacting . It's about two amazingly beautiful women Vicky (Rebecca hall)the committed ,engaged , and somehow mature woman who chose Barcelonato get her masters degree in Catalan Identity , and Cristina(ScarlettJohansson) , the spontaneous , free spirited , less mature who came toBarcelona in a self finding journey . Vicky and Cristina Meet JuanAntonie the passionate painter who suffers after a bad split from hisgirlfriend Marie Elena who tried to kill , Juan Antonia has an affairwith Vicky, before he gets involved in a relationship with Cristina ,then Marie Elena comes back in the picture and lives with Cristina andJuan Antonia , after she tried to kill herself . However i can't seethe whole point of the movie , and as i said before the movie is an oddcombination of Baywatch and desperate housewives ,because so manyaffairs happen during it's kind of short length , and it's basicallyabout good-looking people showing off on screen with good acting skills, but no real sense of the movie . but Despite that Penelope Cruzmanaged to catch the eye with a very good performance that actually wasthe most and only beautiful thing in the movie .

    In The end i really hope that Woody Allen comes back to what he didbefore making great movies and entertaining , and making millions ofpeople all around the globe laugh .

  7. paurullan from Spain
    30 Mar 2012, 5:32 pm

    To be true, I really enjoy Woddy Allen's work. When I heard that thisfilm was on making the first thing I thought was «gotta see it». And tobe sincere too, I was very disappointed for the results.

    Even only lasting an hour and a half it felt very long. None of theaction is plausible, none of the interpretations are convincing andnone of the characters are fully developed. The soundtrack keeps goingmost of the film and it becomes so noisy that goes from interesting toa nuisance. I am sorry to bash the film this way but the script felt sochildish as it was written by a teenager in love. There is no reallyturn-over in the history, no surprises, nothing new under the sun. Thedarkroom scenes were some kind of fan-service, the bed scene withScarlett was lengthy and poor and character of Vicky feels mostly dull.

    The film would have left me a better taste if at least Maria Elenaseemed truly mad: when Cristina tells them she is leaving Maria'sreaction goes down to sadness because a sexual lose. What comes to thespectator's mind is «this is wrong, it seems that Woddy Allen justwanted to film these to women, not to make a film». In a word, thisfilm feels like a high school project more than multimillionproduction.

    I cannot really understand what all these eight-star reviewers feel forit.

  8. katiemeyer1979 from Los Angeles, CA
    30 Mar 2012, 5:32 pm

    Barcelona is recognizable enough and exotic enough to frame the latestcomplication from Woody Allen. Allen himself claims to care very littleabout films. He doesn't consider them the center of his life. Strange,because I do, Woody Allen without his films is…well I don't know whoor what he is. Here he ventures again outside New York in a shape andform that reminded me a little bit of Jacques Rivette. ScarletJohansson and Rebecca Hall, as the blond and the brunette of the title,make a great pair of opposites or seemingly so. Javier Bardem is theartist that comes to ruffle their world and the spectacular PenelopeCruz (getting better and better with every movie) is the hystericalside of the artist's past. We spend a great deal of time sitting attables eating and drinking while a voice over guide us through theirphysical and emotional journey. I was delighted, entertained everaroused. Woody Allen keeps surprising and he's got it whether he caresabout it or not.

  9. oscarxp25 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:32 pm

    When Match Point came out in 2005, I was impressed, but no blown awaylike most of the public and critics. I thought it was an interestingmovie that dealt with dark issues, but it didn't feel like Woody Allen.Scoop was a cute movie, but felt like fluff.

    I am here to tell you after going on opening night that VICKY ChristinaBARCELONA isn't only enchanting, but so well written. I always lookforward to Woody's writing because he is the best. The film just looksbeautiful from the way it is shot. Javier, Scarlett and Cruz (Hilarous)are all good, but it is Rebecca Hall who stands out in this picture;giving Vicky such depth and character.

    Allen is just the master. In the summer of effects and action, it isnice to have a film with such wit and smart observation in it. GO SEEIT!

  10. nazztrader from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 5:32 pm

    Some have commented about the use of a narrator. Yes, that was lazy andintrusive, but not nearly the worst part of this boring mess of a film.And I wouldn't care if Woody Allen wasn't the director and writer – atthis point I just watch films for what they are, not who was involvedin making them. I found myself trying to stay awake while watching it,but when it had my full attention, I found myself amazed at theflimsiness being presented. Boring, self-indulgent people walkingaround a beautiful city, not knowing what they really wanted out oflife, not really interested in anyone or anything else, except for whatit meant to themselves.

    And yes, Johansson's performance was quite bad, as others havementioned, but it actually was consistent with the tone of the film, ifthat's in any way a "positive." There was a turning point, however,which I thought might save the film, at least to some degree, and thatoccurred when the Johansson character decided she no longer wanted tobe in the menage a trois situation. When the viewer isn't given anyreason for this decision, I had to laugh, because that was the finalconfirmation of my thoughts up to that point. Like Johansson, thepaintings, which were just AbEx rip-offs, reflected the lack of overalldepth the viewer is compelled to endure.

    These are just unappealing, narcissistic people I would not want toknow. Their only goals in life concern self satisfaction, and theviewer isn't even given a reason why this is the case. Is it that Woodyhimself is now like this and assumes everyone else in the world is?That's really the only somewhat interesting thing that I took from thisfilm. Unlike in some of his early films, there is no sardonic wit here,or anything else that would allow us to find something special aboutthis. If someone else had given us this film, especially if it was ayoung person, I'd think that this person had a lot of "growing up" todo. The people in this film are the kind of bit-part characters thatthe main characters in Woody's best films would make fun of !

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