Saturday, February 21, 2009

Vicky Christina Barcelona

Woody Allen, 2008 (7.8*)
Best Comedy Picture (GG)
Lightweight romance, heavier on that than comedy, from the Woodman about two friends, Scarlett Johansson, the more Bohemian (‘slutty’) one, with engaged friend, Rebecca Hall, the uptight one, who travel to Barcelona for a break because ‘soon-married’ Hall wrote her thesis on artist-architect Antonio Gaudi, whose work defines Barcelona. While there they meet Bohemian artist Javier Bardem, who announces he’d like a threesome with both on the upcoming weekend. Hall balks at his forthright demeanor, but not Scarlett, and they soon get together - but not until Hall spends a day with Bardem and changes her mind about him.

The fun times are thrown askew with the arrival of psychotic ex-wife Penelope Cruz (Oscar® winner for supporting actress!), hilarious in two languages as a homicidal rage-aholic, who once stabbed Bardem while they were married. now there are three women in Barcelona all interested in Bardem at the same time! Unlike the New York trilogy of Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah & Her Sisters, there’s not a lot here to touch the heart and really make you care for these quirky characters, but it’s pleasant enough entertainment for a light romantic comedy. For once we didn’t get Woody’s ragtime music, we got a terrific Spanish/Brazilian music score that was both light and upbeat enough to fit the subject and its time.

Winner of 2 Indy Spirit Awards for Best Screenplay (Allen) and Cruz for Supporting Actress (loved her in this! remember: she acted in two languages) BAFTA award for Cruz also (British AA). Golden Globe winner for Best Comedy/Musical Picture.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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