This weeks film showcases Woody Allen’s love affair with Spain and Spanish cinema as he visits the city of Barcelona in a film adopting the style of typical Spanish films.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) are two friends visiting Barcelona for the summer. Vicky is uptight, organised and soon to be married, whereas Cristina is much more of a free spirit. When they both fall for the charming artist Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem) a complex series of love affairs begin.

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THE GOOD

The film begins in a style that is typical of a Spanish film; with the two main characters sitting in the car whilst an extremely detailed voiceover explains intimate details about who they are. This voiceover continues throughout and is a nice comic touch whilst also helping explain exactly what the characters are thinking.

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The story is also extremely interesting and unpredictable with several twists and turns; just as it appears to be reaching a point of predictability their will be a dramatic twist that will change everything. This makes the film seem fresh and interesting. The plot also allows Allen a lot of freedom to explore Spanish society; with Vicky studying Catalan history and Cristina being a budding photographer there are countless opportunities for Barcelona’s museums and culture to be referenced.

The most interesting part of the film by far though is the contrast between the two lead females. Both characters are written and performed excellently and seem to be the antithesis of each other; yet somehow remain friends. It is their differences that drive the film forward and make it what could be described as a ‘masterpeice’ (although I throw that word out lightly as Allen has done better work).

THE BAD

There is very little wrong with this film as it is well paced, full of interesting characters and carries just enough wit to make the drama more impactive.

ALLEN SCALE
The film contains most Woody Allen traits and therefore scores 7/10 on the Allen Scale.

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FINAL THOUGHTS:

Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona is a wonderful film which delights and pleases throughout; I therefore award it 5 stars giving it a total score of 9 when added to that of the Allen scale.

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