Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Spotlight Review- Vicky Cristina Barcelona

As I am currently melting into my short shorts I had a sudden rush...(an epiphany perhaps?) to write a review of a gloriously summery film to get me in the mood for holiday season! Woody Allen's 2008 perky offering, set against the beautiful backdrop of Barcelona, is so wonderfully balanced and provides such easy viewing for a hot summer afternoon. Pour out the Pimms and snuggle into a comfy sofa because our director wishes to take you on a journey.

In Woody Allen's Barcelona... the people are amourous and seductive, the food, scrumptious and tempting, while the the sights are..well, beyond glorious.  He plans to entice you in... encouraging you to become enamoured by both the characters and their surroundings.

   The narrative follows two best friends, vacationing in Barcelona, eager to have a break away from their hectic city lives. Vicky (Rebecca Hall) is engaged to the reliable Doug, and is a firm realist, whose aspirations in life are down-to-earth and traditional, while Cristina (Scarlett Johansson), is far more fanatical and spontaneous, refusing to be tied down by love and commitment. *Enter* an bohemian artist Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem- YES PLEASE) who attempts to sweep both girls of their feet, by offering to accompany them to the cultural city of Oviedo, where (in his words) 'they can take photographs and make love'. Eager to explore life as a free spirit, the charismatic stranger induces stirrings of curiosity within the impressionable Cristina while Vicky, is impassive to his request, sensing his interest towards them is little more than empty lust. Nevertheless, against Vicky's better judgement, the girls do eventually follow him to Oviedo; a trip that results in both of them falling for him (its Javier. Lets be honest..who wouldn't?). 

With the two ladies smitten, it's a waiting game to see which one is destined to win the spaniard's affections; a feat further intensified by the introduction of Juan Antonio's strikingly beautiful yet damaged ex-wife Maria-Elena (Penelope Cruz), whom he still feels perpetually draw to. Cruz delivers an Oscar worthy performance as this fragile yet altogether fiery and passionate woman, driven mad by her search to find the 'missing piece' in her past relationship ('We came so close to perfection you and I' she hisses).

In short, it's a film about fidelity, love and passion all wrapped up in the gorgeous exterior of it's Spanish setting. Passionate encounters are given vibrancy by the beautiful plucking of spanish guitars and orange-filtered lighting, while dramatic showdowns are skewed by the beauty of their location into being philosophical and deep. Definitely a film to add to any summer watchlist, as it marks a sensational return to form for veteran director Woody Allen. 

Has anyone else watched it? Please comment below! :)

*looking at some of these stills made me tempted to add my own spin! {Just a humorous bit of mid-week fun!)

Alternative Film Quotes 

'B*tch please. Everyone knows I'm the baddest chicka in town'
'He redecorated. Oh God. The. Mess.'

'What can I say? I'm just totally fab-ulous darhhhling'