vicky cristina barcelona

This is a fantastic date movie. I saw it on a date with myself last night. That sounds pathetic, doesn't it? It really wasn't. I don't get nearly enough me-time anymore. I caught Vicky Cristina Barcelona, then headed to Panera for a turkey-artichoke panini, copious amounts of herbal tea, and free wi-fi. Couldn't have been a more perfect evening. Gotta do it more.

Do you like Woody Allen movies? I mean the really good, older ones? If you do, then you'll enjoy this movie. It's an exquisitely crafted story, full of dynamic characters (who make crazy-ass choices), stunning Barcelona cityscapes (I want to go! I so want to go), and yummy Spanish accents.


Vicky Cristina Barcelona's cast is a big part of what makes it so enjoyable. Javier Bardem is so natural in his native surroundings. He's very sensual, but his obvious comfort in that setting put me at ease, too. I reacted with a lot more "Rowwrrr" than "Run, he's got a weird air-gun thingie!!!" this time. Kind of refreshing. Penelope Cruz is also much easier to stomach when she's speaking Spanish. (Exhibit A: Volver. If you haven't seen it, do.) Scarlet Johansson was surprisingly non-annoying, and I have to say I love this new actress, Rebecca Hall. She reminded me of Anna Popplewell (Susan in the Narnia movies), but ten years older and sexualized.

What really works in this movie is the narration. It's the main vehicle for moving the plot along, it adds a great stylistic element, but my favorite thing is that it gives the viewer a feeling of reading the movie, like it's a novel.

If you like interesting, thought-provoking films, then I highly recommend this one. If, on the other hand, you prefer vanilla Lifetime Originals with no loose ends, see something else. Honestly, I wish I could go back in time and explain this to the group of cranky biddies sitting behind me last night. Just because it's not Danielle Steele doesn't make it a bad movie. Quite the contrary, actually.
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8 Response to "vicky cristina barcelona"

  1. nick plowman says:
    August 27, 2008 at 11:40 AM

    It really does sound like the kind of “Woody” that I love, and I cannot wait to see it for that reason. And Cruz looks absolutely smoking, and apparently Rebecca Hall is good too, so I’m in.

  2. Fletch says:
    August 27, 2008 at 3:04 PM

    Barcelona is gorgeous - part of our honeymoon was spent there. Only thing that killed me? The native accent - I can speak a little Spanish, but not with that lisp. Completely threw me off.

    In other news, I'd like to see this, but shellshock from Woody's last two still have me a bit scared, despite the good reviews. And (no surprise) I'm really not that familiar with his old stuff to gauge all that well.

  3. Daniel G. says:
    August 27, 2008 at 3:48 PM

    Nice work!

    "Javier Bardem is so natural in his native surroundings." Ding ding ding ding!

    This one is definitely going to be lost on those who don't get Woody Allen.

  4. Craig Kennedy says:
    August 27, 2008 at 5:45 PM

    Excuse me while I travel the internet bathing in the warm glow of people who like this movie as much as I did.

    I know there are pockets of dissent out there, but I'd rather sing to the choir.

    I also took myself out on a date to this one and it was terrific. Made me want to go to Catalonia and fall madly for some painter with a dark streak.

    Nice review Nayana

  5. Blake Says:
    August 27, 2008 at 11:34 PM

    What's this about narration? Is it narrated like...French New Wave narration? Like The Royal Tenenbaums narration?

  6. Rick Olson says:
    August 28, 2008 at 10:05 AM

    Naya, I love Woody films, and really look forward to seeing this one. Alas, it hasn't come anywhere near me yet, and I might have to go to the Big City (Birmingham) to see.

    And I've been known to see movies by myself upon occasion ... the last one was "There Will Be Blood," actually.

  7. Nayana Anthony says:
    August 28, 2008 at 3:50 PM

    It really was fantastic. About the narration... can anyone answer Blake? The closest I can come to is that it sounded like a really, really well-done audiobook. But that makes it sound cheap. It's not.

  8. Nayana Anthony says:
    August 28, 2008 at 3:55 PM

    Watching movies by myself is the default, actually. I got over any discomfort with that about 10 years ago. Now it's my bliss.

    But Tuesday really felt like a date with myself, because I had the whole thing planned... the movie, the dinner, the wi-fi. It actually felt like I was pampering myself. Definitely have to do that more.

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