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About the Movie
Two young American women, Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) come to Barcelona for a summer holiday. Vicky (Rebecca Hall) is sensible and engaged to be married; Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) is emotionally and sexually adventurous. In Barcelona, they’re drawn into a series of unconventional romantic entanglements with Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem), a charismatic painter, who is still involved with his tempestuous ex-wife Maria Elena (Penélope Cruz). Set against the luscious Mediterranean sensuality of Barcelona, VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA is Woody Allen’s funny and open-minded celebration of love in all its configurations.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 199
- Fresh: 162
- Rotten: 37
- Average Rating: 6.9/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: I couldn't imagine better company than Vicky, Cristina and Woody on a relaxing summer day.
Rotten: Allen seems uninterested in pushing his material beyond impersonally generic, or even in thinking things through.
Fresh: For all its meditations on romantic disappointments, this is a slight, sunny film. Anyone in need of some superior escapism should see it straightaway.
Fresh: By the time Cruz appears, Vicky Cristina Barcelona has delivered on those initial good omens: it's Allen's best film in at least a decade.
A playful meditation on love and sex from a rejuvenated Woody Allen (***1/2 out of 4)
Woody Allen famously said, “The heart wants what it wants.” But what if the heart doesn’t know what it wants? Such is the case with Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johanssen), two friends on a Spanish summer holiday who get an unusually frank proposition from a native painter (Javier Bardem). The promise of kinkiness between Johanssen and Penelope Cruz in the ads probably accounts for Woody getting his widest opening (no pun intended) in years. The kinkiness is on the mild side, but mainstream moviegoers discovering or rediscovering the aging director will find one of his more engaging comedy dramas, especially if they like Spanish guitar or the design work of Antoní Gaudi. It’s a meditation on love rather than duplicity, the common theme of his preceding London trilogy. Practical Vicky gets pulled along by free-spirited Cristina, but finds herself questioning her own ideas about relationships. Bardem has a European sort of macho about him, employing quiet confidence rather than swagger. It seems to me that, as Woody has appeared less in his own films, he’s been more free to create different sorts of male leads. For that matter, the tone is different from the director’s earlier work. The light comedy is more reminiscent of an Eric Roemer film than, say, Annie Hall. The most overt humor is when Cruz, as the painter’s volatile ex-wife, comes into the picture, but there are no one-liners. Maybe Woody should keep traveling the world to make movies; at 72, he has subtly reinvented himself once again.
Allen's script is excruciatingly bad. Choosing to have a narrator explain the majority of Vicki and Cristina's thoughts, feelings and actions gives the two actresses playing the roles very little to actually do as actors and makes their characters one-dimensional: they're cardboard cutout neurotic, pretty young American women that appear in so many of Allen's films. Javier Bardem and Penlope Cruz give wonderfully nuanced performances and portray the most fully developed of all the characters in the film - probably because their every thought and feeling isn't told to us by the narrator. Don't even bother to rent. Watch it on a movie channel if you have one at home. The movie is an emotionally dead mess whenever Bardem and Cruz aren't in it.
In love with Vicky Cristina Barcelona...
Great Movie! Great actors and better performances! Penelope totally deserved that Oscar! Love It!
- Genre: Drama
- Released: 2008
- © 2008 Gravier Productions, Inc. and MediaProduccion, S.L.