Monday, April 27, 2009
Vicky Christina Barcelona
MUST-SEE: (Woody Allen) Bravo to this stupendous film! Penelope Cruz, who never disappoints me, enters this film and 100% steals the show--much to my satisfaction (and her own, Congrats on the statue). Her rapido Spanish eloquently fills in the lines of a love story much unlike anything in the eyes and/or experience of a traditional sap. Take two American grads, on the summer vacation of a lifetime, living free (literally) in Spain before their real lives begin. One is a sane, rational and engaged practical played by Rebecca Hall (The Prestige) and her best friend (and counter personality) is Scarlett Johanssen, playing her God-given roll as the seductress--this time paired with qualities such as "dreamer" and "muse." She and Hall's girlfriends both find themselves in the middle of a whacked-out love triangle, or in this case, maybe more like a rhombus, as the lines often sway. Penelope is wildly appealing as a mentally disturbed ex-wife. Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) juggles multiple women with such aire and nonchalance that his bowl-cut killer is long forgotten. His voice has a dark chocolate milk quality to it that both soothes and intrigues, easily placing him as the master of the fiery trio in this story. The film is fun, quirky and a little abstract, but proves life is lived at its utmost when you can forget yourself for a minute. Vicky Christina opens new doors and illustrates a fascinating liberation that our brilliant Woody Allen executes in uniquely romanticized ways.