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Vicky Cristina Barcelona DVD

Woody Allen, 2008

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Film Details

Directed by Woody Allen

Produced in 2008

Main Language - English

Countries & Regions - European Film, American film

MovieMail's Review

Peter Wild finds this sunny, escapist delight is a real return to form for Allen.

We are glad to report that Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Woody’s sunny, escapist Spanish delight, is that much talked-of and much hoped-for ‘return to form’. Even the most ardent Woody Allen fan has had to admit, in recent years, that there were, in fact, such things as ‘lesser’ Woody Allen films. Although opinion was fairly positive for his first London outing, Match Point, a sort of Hitchcock-esque tennis drama populated by the landed gentry, two subsequent outings – Scoop and, particularly, Cassandra’s Dream – saw Allen gather the worst reviews of his career so far.

With its title – Vicky Cristina Barcelona – initially wrongfooting you by leading you to believe that there will be an eponymous central character, the film then introduces bright but cautious Vicky (played by Rebecca Hall, latterly of Frost/Nixon and Red Riding) and sexually adventurous Cristina (played by Woody’s latest muse, Scarlett Johansson), two girlfriends holidaying in Barcelona. Approached over an intimate meal by Javier Bardem’s swarthy and vivacious painter, Juan Antonio, and invited away for the weekend, Vicky and Cristina enter into a playful dosey-do that sees each of them dally with the charismatic painter.

So far, so Woody Allen you might say. Where the film really comes into its own, however, is in the introduction of Juan Antonio’s tempestuous ex, Maria Elena, a performance that bagged Penélope Cruz a well-deserved Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. The fireworks generated by the pairing of Bardem and Cruz transports the film firmly into Almodóvar territory – albeit Almodóvar by way of Eric Rohmer – and it’s all the better for it. Of course the scenery is breathtaking (the architecture and the cuisine are as much a character as the girls themselves), of course the girls find themselves awe-struck by the culture and of course there is a Woody-type character (in the main played by Vicky but ably supported by Christopher Evan Welch’s narration); all taken together, this makes for a fine Woody Allen film indeed.

Peter Wild on 29th May 2009
Author of 99 reviews

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Film Description

Romantic comedy drama from Woody Allen, in which, when two young American friends, Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) spend a summer in Barcelona, they both become infatuated with flamboyant artist Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem). Things are further complicated when Juan's emotionally unstable ex-wife Maria Elena (Penelope Cruz, in an Oscar-winning performance) reappears on the scene, and chaos soon reigns as the characters become amorously entangled to varying degrees.

DVD Details

Certificate: 12

Publisher: Studio Canal

Length: 96 mins

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 widescreen

Format: DVD Colour

Region: 2

Released: 22nd June 2009

Cat No: OPTD1574

Subtitles: English HOH

DVD Extras

  • Trailer.

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Community Reviews

by Anon on 5th February 2009

Many of his recent works have been hailed as a return to form and the rest rightly dismissed as terrible - this is his best film in at least 10 years.

The fil... Read on

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