Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Mar 11, 2009 by Samantha Halfon · 2 Comments ·
Filed under: Cinephile 

Last night, we went to the “catch-up on the good movies you missed” screening of Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Every year, the Telerama Festival schedules the screening of the top 10 movies of the previous year in theaters throughout France. Tickets for these screenings cost 3 euros. It’s a great opportunity to catch up on a movie you might have missed when it first came out.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona by Woody Allen (2008)

Vicky Cristina Barcelona by Woody Allen (2008)

I have seen Match Point and loved it. I have seen Scoop and thought of it was the comedy remake of Match Point. I thought remaking one own’s film on a different mode was a wonderful idea but I felt Scoop never came close to Match Point as a movie. Anyway, I agreed with most critics I read that the change of location (from NYC to London) had been extremly beneficial to Woody Allen. He seems to have found there new characters that he could play with, new sets to inspire his shots and a totally new, younger cast to renew his work.

As the titles implies, his latest (to date) takes Vicky and Cristina to Barcelona and it looks like Spain was another great new playground for Woody.  He found two beautiful locations for the house of Vicky’s relatives and the house of artist Juan Antonio. Another sequence takes us to Oviedo with another series of beautiful shots. Since the movie took place in Spain, the cast now includes spanish speaking actors : Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz. It is very hard not to think of Almodovar who also used Bardem and Cruz and shares with Allen his taste for Spanish Guitar. I didn’t expect Woody Allen to succeed so well at portraying Spanish characters like he did with British characters but after seeing the movie I think it worked out even better.  It seems like filming in Spain allowed him to be more dramatic while remaining believable (what’s possible around the mediteranean see is not under the English gray sky). The constant switch of languages was source of comedy but also of more subtelty in the screenplay. ANd then of course, you get the colors of Spain…  Congratulations, Mr Allen. The movie was released on October 8, 2008 and on August 15, 2008 in America. I wonder how that one was left out of the nominees of this year Academy Awards?

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