Vicky Cristina Barcelona Reviews
A thoughtful yet light romance drama where woody uses the sometimes tired European summer getaway cliche to let characters find a better understanding of themselves and their perceptions of love and relationships without getting too deep - stellar performances by all and of course lovely visuals of Barcelona - by the end Woody thankfully drops some realism for the cast and you walk away feeling alot of character growth and understanding... with admittedly fun novella elements as well this is an entertaining and charming movie which is more accessible than the stanard Allen fare in our opinion
Anyhow, I actually enjoyed this way more than I expected. But it's definitely flawed. First off the narrator was pointless-most of the stuff he says gets repeated on screen anyhow. Second, there were a handful of scenes that were just straight up out of focus??? I was like get a better focus puller.
And lasts, as much as we all want to bone Javier Bardem I found the women to be a little too flat. Though I suppose everybody is a caricature anyhow. Vicky is afraid of making mistakes she can't take back, Cristina is exploring and looking for answers to questions she's not deep enough to understand, Juan Antonio is trying to live openly and only in the moment with no foresight or regard to consequences and Maria Elena is an obsessive compulsive mentally unstable emotional wreck.
I did at least appreciate the focus on faces over bodies, a rareity for Love triangle films. I also liked the ending in which there was a polite conversation between Vicky and Cristina and their friendship persisted with no hiccups. Another rareity on film.
It's pretty watchable, but it never really told me anything new that I didn't already know, so perhaps it's for the completist seeking out all the work of the talents involved, rather than a casual viewer?
Two unlikely friends, Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson), arrive in Barcelona set to spend the summer with Vicky's aunt and uncle. The audience learns from the narrator that Vicky enjoys structure and stability in all aspects of life. Vicky plans to use the summer doing research for her major in Catalan studies, and upon her return is set to marry in the fall. Cristina on the other hand, likes adventure and any new thrill. As a failed short filmmaker, Cristina hopes to find a new love that can spark some creativity for her, over the summer. Cristina only staying satisfied until her familiar stirring calls and she gets the urge to move on.
Some relatable characters arise out of this film, like Cristina. Cristina and her carefree, live for the thrill way of life can resonate with those that posses a sense of adventure. Late one evening while dining, Vicky and Cristina come across Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem). He's a sultry Catalan painter, who has questionable behaviors. Juan Antonio approaches Vicky and Cristina making this suggestion, " I'd be honored if you'd both accompany me to Oviedo for the weekend. I will show you some beautiful sites, we can dine together and enjoy good food and wine, and then we can make love." (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) The girls having just been informed earlier about Juan Antonio's possible violent divorce, from his fiery, artistic ex-wife, Maria Elena (Penelope Cruz). Vicky instantly cautious puts up her guard. Cristina, even with her knowledge about Juan Antonio, is still curious and very willing to go.
Vicky and her fiancé Doug (Chris Messina) discuss their dislike of Cristina's free-loving, spirited personality. Vicky telling Doug, "She sometimes gets on my nerves with her crack-pot love affairs." Doug stating," Cristina's annoying, with her forever-unsatisfied struggle artist image. Her contempt with normalcy in a relationship is nothing more than a boring cliché." (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) Doug and Vicky soon rethink that discussion after meeting with Cristina for lunch one afternoon. Cristina describes to her friends the beautiful lovemaking that occurred with her and Maria Elena one day. How it was just a passing moment. That Cristina didn't feel the need to label. Vicky and Doug both remarking and asking question to her story. Both enthralled on the lure and luster of the tale
The Spanish guitar can be heard throughout various parts of the film. Casting a calming, yet seductive spell over its listeners. Possible making them go against their morals. Proven in this scene when Vicky is forced to dine alone with Juan Antonio one evening. Vicky anxiously ends a phone call from her fiancé. Juan Antonio somewhat puzzled by her actions, "Why were you so nervous just now on the phone?" (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) Vicky would blame it all on the wine, and seducing sounds from the Spanish guitar player. No matter the excuses Vicky relaxes enough, for her to sleep with Juan Antonio. That moment leaves Vicky still feeling anxious and a bit puzzled by her actions.
Some find music to be nothing more than a distraction. Witnessed in a scene one night when Vicky and Doug are dining with a friend couple of his. The music starts playing and Vicky becomes slightly disengaged from the tables' conversation. Isn't that the beauty of music though, its ability to mesmerize and transport listeners, even if it's just for a brief moment in time? Vicky is over come by the music and feeling so completely relaxed, that she zones out. Just like that listening to the sound of music can re-spark a memory. Vicky is taken back to that night spent with Juan Antonio.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona is like watching a travel brochure come to life. Allowing visitors or in this case its viewers to experience all that Barcelona has to offer. The setting and backdrop of the film is just beautiful. Offering activities like strolling along cobblestone streets. Viewing buildings designed from famed artists like Gaudi. Leisurely afternoon picnics in the country hillsides and late night dinner's in one of Barcelona's many quant cafes. Roger Ebert had this to say about Barcelona, "Allen gives us a tour of the glories of Barcelona, the city of Gaudi and Miro, the excuse being that Juan Antonio is showing the girls the sites. As Hollywood learned long ago, there's nothing like a seductive location to lend interest to whatever is happening in the foreground."
In the end, Vicky and Cristina make their travel back home. While walking to the plane you see them gazing forward and possible wondering, is there a fine line between wants and desires. Does the audience need more of a conclusion, or is left pondering well enough. According to Roger Ebert's review, he had this to say about the film, "The actors are attractive, the city magnificent, the love scenes don't get all sweaty and everybody finishes the summer a little wiser, and with a lifetime of memories. What more could you ask." No matter what's left to ponder, the audience can surely agree Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona provides a majestic lore into Spanish culture with its majestic scenery and tranquil sounds. . Taking its viewers on a Catalan mini vacation, that only a summer spent in Barcelona can provide.