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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Vicky Cristina Barcelona


I really wanted to like this movie as has a great cast and for the first time my wishes were granted by none other than Woody Allen as he did a great, funny, amusing and entertaining movie that definitively does NOT look/feel like his regular (or earlier) movies but it is truly fantastic to watch because excellent performances by Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Rebecca Hall, some witty dialogues and an extraordinary “love letter” to beautiful and romantic Barcelona. Unfortunately I did not enjoy Scarlett Johansson character and her performance didn’t help to make the character more interesting.

But one thing is totally true, this movie has the best eye-candy cast ensemble than any other movie that I have seen lately and I do not exclude Javier Bardem as the actor and character really looks attractive not only for the looks but also for his behavior.

But I imagine that the story will not appeal to many, as is a story about love in its many forms and most forms the film shows are not of the conventional type. Precisely the unconventional love forms was what totally grabbed and fascinating me as (gee, here I go telling you all private stuff, lol!) some of the love forms just represented what I had the unbelievable pleasure of experimenting for real when I was living in that so beautiful city of the world. So, it’s no surprise that I find the story absolutely real and totally credible.

The story tells about two best friends American tourists spending two summer months that they will never forget (even when changed nothing) in Barcelona. Both women cannot be so different with outgoing Cristina (Johansson) clearly knowing what she does not want to do but having no idea about what she would like to do; and serious Vicky (Hall) having all her life in total order and planning a safe/secure marriage and future. The plot thickness as soon as they meet recently divorced -and very smooth- painter Juan Antonio (Bardem) who not long ago had a public and scandalous divorce from Maria Elena (Cruz) and you really have to see how these four characters relations evolve as situations start to happen! To me is like a cat/mouse tale where if the cat catches the mouse he will not devour it, as the chase is more appealing than eating the prey and going back to be a miserable lonely cat! (lol! –sorry, but love the image).

Cinematography is breathtaking and uses a hot colors palette that totally gives an air of romance to the indoor and outdoor takes; music/songs are unbelievably good and contribute to the romantic air and whatever is happening in the screen; also, I believe that Allen did a great job as a director, screenplay writer and storyteller, even when the movie looks/feels not like his regular style. In the beginning the narrator bothered me mainly because it was a monotonous man voice (definitively a female voice could have been better), but soon enough I got used to and after the ending I totally understood why it was monotonous and consequently believe that was done on purpose.

I’m annoyed by so many American critics and viewers saying that is Penelope Cruz at her best or similar, as yes she does a great performance but she’s such a great actress as proven in so many non-English speaking roles that great performances is exactly what many of us are expecting from her. Perhaps if those critics and viewers could watch movies with subtitles, then they will realize that she’s an excellent performer. But, since many don’t watch subtitles, then is remarkable that finally they started to notice her work and that Penelope Cruz is getting well-deserved recognition as well as much better English speaking roles like in Elegy.

For those that have heard so much about the lesbian interest moments, well they are here -not one but two kisses; but they are brief and not relevant to the two women story, except to tell about a very peculiar threesome cohabitation successful arrangement.

Anyway the movie has 4 nominations at the Golden Globes and I wouldn’t be surprised if Penelope gets an Oscar nomination, as she not only has a SAG nomination but also has been winning many awards from USA film critics and awards. Javier Bardem and Rebecca Hall have also been honored with several nominations and please browse the blog to find the many other honors for the film, including being screened out of competition at the 2008 Cannes.

Definitively is a movie I highly recommend to adult audiences, but as I already mention I tend to believe that the story is not one that will appeal to all. I just loved the movie and definitively is one that I’ll get the dvd as soon as is released to watch many times more!

Big Enjoy!!!

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