Tuesday, 16 December 2008
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Rebecca Hall and Scarlett Johansson are best friends from the USA spending two months holiday in Spain. They are like chalk and cheese in their attitudes to life and when befriended by Javier Bardem, a painter with few inhibitions and divorced from Penelope Cruz, they predictably react in quite different ways.
This is a Woody Allen film without the oppressive New York angst (Spanish angst replaces it). The screenplay contains Allen's trademark quips and dense conversational style. Thankfully Allen does not appear nor is he heard and I enjoyed watching the attractive cast as they struggled, each in their own way, to come to grips with their relationships, loves and passion.
I think I could watch Javier Bardem read the telephone directory. He is an effortlessly sexy man which makes his scary, sexless performance last year in No Country for Old Men so remarkable.
The Spanish settings (apartments, cafe, street and rural scenes) are gorgeous. Allen is back in form.