Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Directed by Woody Allen
Two girlfriends spend a summer in Barcelona.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona is the first Woody Allen film with “serious body heat,” said Stephen Holden in The New York Times. The writer-director’s past films have always been about male lust, but that “desire is usually camouflaged by layers of shyness and nervous banter.” His latest film, about two American women who spend a summer in Barcelona, has a “racing erotic pulse.” Vicky (Rebecca Hall) is straight-laced and poised to marry a dull finance guy. Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) is a passionate and free spirit. They both get involved in a love triangle with a hunky Spanish artist (Javier Bardem), and soon with his spitfire of an ex-wife (Penélope Cruz). The 73-year-old Allen finds the “perfect tone” for this coming-of-age story, said David Edelstein in New York. That tone is “objective, with a hint of affectionate sympathy” for these young women. Allen’s dialogue is “both crisp and ambivalent,” said David Denby in The New Yorker. Each of his actors has a “first-class temperament,” and they all work together to give the film “a natural, flowing vitality.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 10 things you need to know today: September 19, 2014
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How Scotland's independence movement lost the vote and still won everything
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- 6 super-helpful iOS8 tricks you probably don't know about
- The Obama administration's nonstop incoherence on ISIS
- The Tea Party has its own immigration problem: Cuba
Subscribe to the Week