Monday, 17 May 2010


Writer/Director: Woody Allen
Running time: 93 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 12

UK Release Date: 13th February 2009

Watched on Sky+ Monday 17th May 2010.


As both a writer and a director, Woody Allen has made some funny, some thought provoking but always entertaining films. For me, this one falls into the thought provoking category. As with a lot of his films, this is an exploration of how relationships work. But let me tell you something of the plot first.

Friends Vicky and Cristina are to spend the summer in Barcelona. The more stable, and engaged, Vicky has arranged that they stay with her aunt Judy and husband Mark. Cristina, who has always been more daring, is just getting over writing and directing a twelve minute film she hated. They go out to see the sights and, after a few days they meet Juan Antonio, an artist, who offers to take them to a small town for the weekend where they can see the sights. He makes it clear his intentions are to get one, or both of them into bed. Cristina, being the more adventurous is keen to go and persuades Vicky to accompany her. After a day of sightseeing Cristina decides she wants to share Juan Antonio’s bed. Unfortunately she becomes ill right at the critical moment and ends up bedridden for the rest of the weekend. This leaves Vicky and Juan Antonio alone together. One thing leads to another and they end up in each others arms. When they return to Barcelona Juan Antonio calls Cristina up and they go out together. After a few weeks, Cristina moves in with Juan Antonio. And then Juan Antonio’s estranged wife, Maria Elena turns up. Throw in Vicky’s husband to be turning up and proposing they marry in Spain and you’ve got a pretty well mixed up Woody Allen plot. There is more, but, as ever I won’t give the ending away.

This is a very well made film with dialogue that is unmistakably written by Woody Allen. I do question some of the morality, but then again, Juan Antonio did make his intentions clear from the beginning. Very good performances from all of the major players, Rebecca Hall as Vicky, Scarlett Johansson as Cristina, Javier Bardem as Juan Antonio and Penélope Cruz as Maria Elena.

Although it’s not the kind of film I’d usually go out of my way to watch I did enjoy a lot of the dialogue and the way the film explores the neuroses of relationships. It’s pretty entertaining, especially whenever Maria Elena appears on the screen! Over all, recommended, but turn your moral compass off first.

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