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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Well, who would have thought that a director as cerebral as Woody Allen could have evoked such an earthy performance from Penelope Cruz? Or perhaps he just got out of the way and let her do her own thing, which she did particularly well. I have not read anything about this film, including any reviews, but I would imagine that others have taken note of the Truffaut-esque voiceover narration and the loose parallels with Truffaut's masterpiece "Jules et Jim."

Despite a somewhat simple and insipid plot, I enjoyed this film more than any other Woody Allen project I have seen over the past several years. The Barcelona setting helped a lot, and as for the acting--well, Javier Bardem and Scarlett Johansson pretty much played their usual sexy selves, leaving the complex acting to Cruz and also Rebecca Hall, who played Vicky. We should also acknowledge Chris Messina's performance as Vicky's nerdy, conventional husband. Messina gave the character some nuance and subtlety not normally seen in the guy we don't want to see the girl wind up with, which makes the ending--whoops, we don't want to spoil the ending, do we.

Anyway, Balter's Blog recommends that you see this film, if you haven't already.

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