Vicky Cristina Barcelona

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Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Woody Allen (2008)

92min
12 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
After the ill-conceived Cassandra's Dream, Woody Allen rediscovers his sense of humour with this warm, witty and surprisingly sexy comedy. A narrator recounts the misadventures of young American women Vicky (British actress Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) during a summer visit to Barcelona. The two friends immediately catch the eye of painter Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem), whose brazen proposition elicits very different responses from the footloose Cristina and the soon-to-be-wed Vicky. Couplings and conflicts of loyalty unfold against a backdrop of picturesque Catalan locations, with the return of Juan Antonio's fiery ex-wife (Penélope Cruz) leading to further upheavals. Allen is certainly not breaking new ground in depicting the culture clash between uptight Americans and hedonistic Europeans, but he largely steers clear of crude stereotypes, with Bardem both seductive and sympathetic without being overly macho. And while Allen fans will no doubt detect some of his familiar neuroses in Vicky's agonised musings over her love life, Hall still makes her character likeable (and nails the accent). But it's Cruz who makes the biggest dramatic and comic impact, in a series of spectacularly dysfunctional scenes with Bardem. This is a timely reminder that Allen can operate effectively outside the comfort zone of his native Manhattan.

Summary

Premiere. Two Americans on a break in Spain encounter a seductive painter, who invites them to spend time with him at his home in Oviedo. Though the more timid of the pair is initially reluctant, her free-spirited friend persuades her to come along, resulting in a series of romantic encounters and an explosive experience with the artist's ex-wife. Woody Allen's comedy, with Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall, Javier Bardem and an Oscar-winning Penelope Cruz.

Cast & Crew

Vicky Rebecca Hall
Cristina Scarlett Johansson
Juan Antonio Javier Bardem
Maria Elena Penélope Cruz
Narrator Christopher Evan Welch
Doug Chris Messina
Judy Nash Patricia Clarkson
Mark Nash Kevin Dunn
Charles Julio Perillán
Adam Zak Orth
Sally Carrie Preston
Ben Pablo Schreiber
Director Woody Allen
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Other Information

Language: English, Spanish +subtitles Colour Theatrical distributor: Optimum Releasing Guidance: Sexual references. Available on: Available on DVD and BluRay Released on: 6 Feb 2009

Comedy

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