Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Vicky Christina Barcelona

We finally went to see Vicky Christina Barcelona last night. It was towards the bottom of my film list because I'm not exactly the biggest Woody Allen fan. Now I'm not sure what Allen was trying to achieve with this film, but I immensely enjoyed it, though that may not have been Allen's intention.

The story centres around two American women, who are to spend the summer in Barcelona. There is the serious Vicky (Rebecca Hall), who is engaged to married to dull Doug, and is completing her master's in 'Catalan Identity. Somewhat surprisingly, it turns out that she can't speak much spanish. She is accompanied by her flighty friend, Christina (Scarlett Johansson), who isn't sure what she wants from life, but does know what she doesn't want.


They meet the brooding Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem), a painter who has a tumultuous relationship with his ex-wife, the mythical Maria Elena (magnificently played by Penelope Cruz). Christina is immediately captivating by Juan Antonio, while Vicky tries to deflect his attentions. However, a weekend in his company in the town of Oviedo begins to open Vicky's eyes. Christina begins a relationship with Juan Antonio and moves in with him.

The film truly bursts into life when Cruz arrives on screen in a blaze of big hair, virulent torrents of Spanish and cigaretts. Her performance is amazing in this film, and it finally begins to sizzle. Bardem plays the part of a dark and emotional Spanish painter to smouldering perfection.


All throughout the film, there is narration from an American male voice which I found to be hilarious (possibly unintentional) - "He showed her his paintings and she found it very beautiful". Overall, VCB is an entertaining film, if a little annoying and pseudo-intellectual at times. There are some great perfomances and a fantastic soundtrack and some great shots of the beautiful city of Barcelona. Just take it with a pinch of salt.
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