Vicky Christina Barcelona ~ (USA, 2008) ~ DVD

vickycbDon’t get me wrong.  Scarlett Johansson plays a wonderful Christina. But my ear kept hearing a female Woody. Allen wrote it that way: the neurotic dreamer, not quite sure of what she wants (she knows what she doesn’t want), or how to get it if she knew in the first place. But Scarlett plays it as Allen. The mannerisms. The manic way of talking. But I had no problem with it. I think it added something to the movie, actually. A kind of Woody nostalgia, perhaps.

Rebecca Hall and Scarlett were very good here. On the other hand, I’m not so sure what kind of acting chops it takes to play these roles. Penelope Cruz, however, is a damn force. And Javier Bardem takes a fascinating turn as the painter/womanizer Juan Antonio Gonzalo.

The narrator – and there’s quite a bit here –  is Christopher Evan Welch. A little too much of him for my taste.  The voice and the narrative were not   a good fit for me.

I enjoyed watching the film, with its typical Woody “philosophy”. But the man’s lost his end game. The way all these lives ended up are part of the Allen vision, true. So I’m not asking for a new or alternate ending on that score. But the ending was weak and unsatisfying.nd ultimately seriously marred the film.

♦♦♦½

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