Vicky Cristina Barcelona, rewatched

I rewatched this film for the first time since it came out. Back then, I thought it was quite hackneyed, with its message of “passion”, “marriage is boredom”, “free spirit”, “Europeans are so much more cultured” etc etc.

6 years later, perhaps, I am more mature, but I now see it as deconstructing the above tropes. The boring fiance/husband looks to be so much sympathetic than the male lead, while the cultured and passionate Euros are actually quite destructive and hurtful to all around. Maybe this was the intent of Woody Allen all along…or maybe the boring and dull characters as only unintentionally sympathetic.

Plus, damn Penelope Cruz can occasionally act.

Indeed I think Allen’s point was a deconstruction of that whole bohemian three person relationship that seems to get romanticized (the “Europeans are more cultured and passionate trope”) as well as showing that perhaps that “boring marriage” may be the far better choice. Sometimes that which is seen as passionate and carefree can morph easily into something a bit too crazy for most people. After all, by the end of the story, no one is really all that happy with what has happened.

Oh, yes, I remember that “film.” It was about ten static tableaux in a row with interminable narration about what the characters had done, were doing and were going to do. I found the notion of an acting-free movie intriguing, but I’ll never waste that two hours again.

Rebecca Hall is a criminally underrated actress. Scarlett Johansson has improved since then. Javier Bardem is awesome. So it’s not a totally acting free movie.

Yeah, Amateur Barbarian’s comment through me for a loop. The acting was the best thing about that movie. I’m a pretty big Woody Allen fan but I didn’t particularly love this movie. I did like this movie, but it’s not high on my list of favorites. Most of what I liked about the movie was that the performances were all excellent.

Personally I loved the movie. It’s been a while since I watched it so I can’t comment on the finer details, I do recall really liking Penelope Cruz’ nutso character seamlessly swinging back and forth from English to Spanish and back as she’d argue with everyone.

IIRC, after that, I watched Volver.

Now, see, Volver is a film that I looooved.

Well, what there were of them. It’s like taking the best ten minutes of Casablanca and padding the film out to original length with the droning narration that begins it. Sure, the exact scene where Rick gives the bandleader the nod is cinematic glory… but I’d rather watch everything unfold up to that point instead of having Christopher Welch slowly explain it to me over a static shot of the Nazis singing.

Huh. It wasn’t until I was quoted that I realized I wrote “through” instead of “threw”.
I have no idea how that happened. That’s, like, really dumb, much dumber than mixing up there, their, and they’re.