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Woody Allen

   
 

Playing at Love in Barcelona!

   

 

  

 

Woody Allen's latest film explores the age-old dramatic tension between passion and reason, between following one's desires and settling for the security of the dependable and controlled.  Vicky and Cristina, best friends, travel to the city of Gaudi and Art for a summer vacation.  Vicky (Rebecca Hall) is a pragmatist and depends on the safety of her relationship with her fiancé back home in New York.  Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) is a dreamer who wants a man to sweep her off her feet and fill her life with art, literature, philosophy, and sexual mystery.  Vicky is researching her thesis on Catalan culture, and Cristina, an aspiring filmmaker, is here only to luxuriate in Barcelona's culture and cuisine.  One night, celebrated painter Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem), with his bedroom eyes and insinuating charm, walks into the restaurant where they are dining, and propositions the two women.  Add Juan Antonio's manic depressive and certifiably insane ex-wife Maria Elena (Penelope Cruz) and the mix becomes combustible. 

Woody Allen revels in poking fun at stereotypes, including the liberal open-to-anything blasé European lover.  He does light bedroom farce better than anyone else.  By trading his usual Upper West Side boudoir settings for the spectacular warmth and scenery of Barcelona, Allen breathes new life into an old formula.  The characters will have to make important and possibly life-altering decisions in the remaining days of their Spanish idyll.  But it is after all a summer movie, and no better place to play at love than in Barcelona.  

While Allen reprises themes from previous movies such as Hannah and Her Sisters and Manhattan, here, as in his New York films, the City is Muse and Barcelona, Mediterranean, alluring and sensual, is the seductive heart of the film.   

 

See: Vicky Cristina Barcelona 

See: Manhattan

 

Tags:  film  spain    

 

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