Vicky Cristina Barcelona

  • 12
  • Woody Allen (2008)
  • US / Sp (SUB)
  • 92 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

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.

Plot Summary

Woody Allen's romantic drama starring Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Hall and Penélope Cruz. While on holiday in the beautiful Catalan countryside, Cristina and her soon-to-be-wed friend Vicky fall under the spell of seductive local artist Juan Antonio. But the arrival of Juan's volatile ex-wife Maria Elena soon complicates matters.

Cast and crew

Cast

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

Crew

Director
Woody Allen

Other Information

Language: 
English, Spanish +subtitles
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
Optimum Releasing
Guidance: 
Sexual references.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 6 Feb 2009
Certificate 12
Distributor:
Optimum Releasing
Categories
Comedy