Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

This movie was misnamed- the Vicky(Hall) grad student character is bland and annoying, the Cristina (ScarJo) character is adventurously unbelievable on all accounts, and Barcelona stands as a beautiful but mute backdrop. The movie SHOULD have been called Juan Antonio (Bardem) and Maria Elena (Cruz). Until Bardem and Cruz get together, the movie is as bland as tapioca- without the pearly things. The story is believable, sort of. But Woody Allen needs to get his act together and cast real actors with real facial expressions. You'll see what I mean when you are stuck watching Hall and ScarJo recite dialogue like zombies, and then the momentous electrical change when Cruz joins the group. Even in the quietest scenes, it is Cruz who provides the nuanced emotions without losing touch with the camera. It makes the most striking contrast with the actress Rebecca Hall. She is supposed to be playing an uptight, tight panty girl who is surprised by her own passion but she comes across as cardboard. Johansson has a few moments, but not many. Her eyes are what bother me- no sparkle, no life. It is okay, but not great. If you are a Woody Allen fan, then you have to see it, but if you aren't, well, don't say I didn't warn you.