Friday, 10 October 2008
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
My mum who is having guests over the last few days, called me yesterday and asked my opinion on which movie should should go and see with her friend. Her only requirement was that it should be a good movie and not something stupid. I have not taken any time lately, I am ashamed to say, to check the movies, so I quickly entered the internet and checked this week's movies. When I saw Woody Allen's movie released, I looked no further. I was sure it would be good and not stupid. Plus, it was shown in the theater really close to her house. So I advised her. And I also asked her to buy a third ticket for me so I could join them - I think the last time I went to see a movie with my mum was...ET. That alone was a huge reason for her to decide to go.
So, so far, the experience is great. The critics said that it was his best comedy ever. The viewers at Athinorama gave it 4.5stars. High expectations set. I also need to tell you that I absolutely worship Woody. I think he is a genius. The story is about two young American girls, Vicky and Cristina, who are best friends and are finding themselves in Barcelona for the summer as Vicky is finishing her masters in Catalan culture and Cristina is...well looking to find herself and I guess happiness. (Aren't we all??) Vicky's life is certain to include Hampton summer house weekends, and for Christina anything is possible. They are both very beautiful but completely different. So it seems. Javier Bardem is a very attractive painter that asks them -without knowing them - to go for a weekend away. Of course soon to be married and structured Vicky rebels but Cristina manages to convince her to go. I need not say more because the story starts getting interesting, and it gets even more so, when Maria-Elena, Bardem's film ex-wife shows up. Penelope Cruz is absolutely amazing in Maria-Elena's role. The entire cast is, but Penelope is worth at least an Oscar nomination for her role. The comedy is not in what is happening, although that is funny too. But it is of course in the script. Vicky calls Christna (Scarlett Johanson) neurotic, but she is really the calmest character. In Cristina's thinking and way of talking, one can easily recognize a New Yorker as seen by Woody. Vicky and Cristina could be the same person in all of us, one is structured, the other displaces any iota of responsibility for a moment of passion. But..don't we all sometimes, even the most structured of us? And if it comes in our life, can we handle it? Even Maria Elena needs a break.
Also, besides the acting, the directing, the script, the other element that makes this movie absolutely worth seeing it is the photography and the scenery. Beautiful.
OK, I should not have imagined that I might have liked a Woody movie better than his Manhattan stories or his Annie Hall, I didn't, but this one was one of his best. I will also give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. And I wish Cruz will get her Oscar. It should - for once - go to a comedy role and this one is billingual!! Not to mention she is absolutely gorgeous