by guest writer,
Vicky Cristina Barcelona has all the ingredients of a Woody Allen movie: the complicated relationships, the seriously amusing narration, the conflict that takes place in the art world, the bohemian characters vs the conservative ones. Two best friends, Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson), are vacationing in Barcelona for the summer. What makes the two friends related is each one’s spirit of restless indetermination. Does Vicky really want to marry her fiancé and lead a dull life with him? Does Cristina have any artistic talent? One thing that they know they don’t have in common is their taste in men. Until they meet Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem), when all sorts of mixed feelings take over.
One weekend in Oviedo becomes a benchmark in each girl’s love life. Soon the tragicomic reveals itself in the form of Juan Antonio’s ex-wife, Maria Elena (Penélope Cruz). Penélope delivers an exciting performance, she has a passionate temper, but played in an incredibly funny way that makes her character even more loveable.
Javier Aguirresarobe does a great job as a cinematographer, presenting Barcelona and the breathtaking surroundings in a romantic, most beautiful possible way and captures so well the vacation mindset. It’s like you are a tourist yourself watching the film. The amazing cast, with the four distinctive personalities so well interpreted, the real life dialogue and unique Woody Allen humour, all these elements help achieving that feeling that Vicky Cristina Barcelona vividly captures a moment in time.
photos: stills from the film; production credits