Thursday, March 12, 2009
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
...and Maria Elena. I'm not a Woody Allen connoisseur, and I don't know if that is a help or hindrance in writing a little bit about the movie. I liked it, certainly, and wanted to know how it was all going to shake out.
Ultimately, however, one watches a Woody Allen movie to listen to people talk. I'm thinking of the phone calls in Crimes and Misdemeanors, when the lover is attempting to persuade, cajole, and blackmail, while the husband is attempting to mollify, protect, and dissuade. I did get distracted with VCB when I noticed, "Man, he's really articulate in a second language!" Many people couldn't express English that well as native speakers. Is there anyone else who could have pulled off what he did, other than Javier Bardem? I'm not sure.
The true gem has already been written about, and that's Penelope Cruz. How can somebody that tiny be so powerful? I wish I knew how she does it. And it's not that she's so beautiful, which she is, but there are plenty of beautiful women out there who could only dream of her presence.
There's a certain dissatisfaction at the end of the movie, in which nobody gets what they want exactly. But because they don't know what they want, exactly, that's precisely what they get. Ebert treats it as a sort of adult study abroad experience, and I wouldn't disagree.