Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Movie Review: Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Am I the only one who feels left out when watching some the awards shows? They announce all of these movies and I'll be lucky if I've seen one of them. Sad, too, because I think I have pretty good taste in films.

So a couple of days ago I added Vicky Cristina Barcelona to my Netflix queue. And, despite the fact that it said "long wait" next to the title, it arrived fairly quickly.

The title and the movie poster are a little misleading. Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johanson) go to Barcelona and meet a charming painter named Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem.) So this is not about a girl named "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." But the fact that their lives and relationships become intertwined is a possible explanation of why Woody Allen came up with that title.

I'll be honest, I'm not a huge Woody Allen fan. I findly him strangely overrated. I know that when I watch a Woody Allen film I'm going to see a movie with a lot of dialogue, and this film was no different. The only thing I found refreshing was Juan Antonio's honesty. Yes, he's a Spanish guy who is attracted to pretty much any decent-looking woman, but he makes no secret of it. Although the practical-minded Vicky gets thrown by his forthrightness.

Penelope Cruz plays Juan Antonio's dramatic ex-wife, who is part sage and part Tasmanian devil. I have to say that she really is an excellent, excellent actress. I can see why she was nominated for an Academy Award for this role.

My review feels kind of like this movie. There really isn't much of a point to it. No one really learns anything. No one really ends up happy. No one ends up with who you want them to end up with. There's no real depth to it. Yes, those are spoilers, I guess you could say, but I'm just letting you know what you're in for if you decide to watch it.

It kind of reminds me of that show 30 Rock, which leaves me thinking, "What is the point?"

It does have some redeeming qualities. For one thing, the "Narrator." Imagine listening to a book on tape of 2 young women going to Barcelona while watching it at the same time, and that is this movie. And, I'll admit, some of the dialogue was entertaining and I can't say I was bored. It had a very "slice of life" feeling about it. You don't know anything about these characters previous to the film and you have no idea what is going to happen to them once it is over. But the thing is, you don't really care, and that may be this film's problem. I

I would give it and 8 out of 10. If you see it, you'll be entertained, but it won't knock your socks off.

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