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Vicky Cristina Barcelona

3.7 out of 5 stars 1,064 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Oscar winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men), Oscar nominee Penelope Cruz (Volver) and Golden Globe nominee Scarlett Johansson (The Nanny Diaries) light up the stunning city of Barcelona in this sexy romantic comedy. Vicky and Cristina are two young Americans spending a summer in Spain, who meet a charming Casanova and his beautiful but volatile ex-wife. When they all become romantically entangled, the smoldering sparks begin to fly in hilarious fashion. Critics rave, Vicky Cristina Barcelona is one of Woody Allen s finest films, with bravura performances from its incredible cast (Jeffrey Lyons, Reel Talk/NBC).


It must be true that getting out of town can do a fellow a lot of good, because Vicky Cristina Barcelona is the best movie Woody Allen has made in years. Okay, you're right, 2006's Match Point already claimed that honor and, as Allen's first film made in England, established the virtues of getting away from overfamiliar territory (namely Manhattan). But the Woodman's first film made in Spain matches the ice-cold Match Point for crisp authority, and yields a good deal more sheer pleasure besides. Rebecca Hall (Vicky) and Scarlett Johansson (Cristina) play two young Americans, best friends, spending a summer in Catalonia. Vicky is going for a master's in "Catalan identity" (though her Spanish is shaky); Cristina is going along for, oh, just about anything. That soon includes celebrated abstract artist Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem), who's anything but abstract in his forthright proposition that the two join him in his private plane, his travels, and his bed. That he has an insane ex-wife, Maria Elena (Penélope Cruz), who may or may not have tried to kill him is not really an issue until the wife reappears and ... well, consider the possibilities.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona isn't exactly a comedy, at least not in the manner of Allen's "early, funny ones," but it's informed by a rueful wit that finds its fullest expression in reflective voiceover commentary. Spoken by Christopher Evan Welch, but surely on behalf of the 73-year-old auteur, this element of the film is neither (as some have charged) patronizing nor uncinematic; rather, it's integral to the movie's participation in a venerable European literary tradition, the sentimental education. Instead of Bergman or Fellini, this time Allen is invoking the François Truffaut of Jules and Jim and Eric Rohmer in his many meditations on the game of love. The entire cast is terrific (both Hall and Johansson get to play "the Woody part" at different points), with Bardem and Cruz especially delightful as exemplars of Old Worldliness. Cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe honors every drop of Catalonian sunlight and glint of Gaudí architecture. --Richard T. Jameson

Stills from Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Click for larger image)

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall, Kevin Dunn
  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: The Weinstein Company
  • DVD Release Date: January 27, 2009
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,064 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001DJ7PR8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,714 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Miles D. Moore on September 7, 2008
Format: DVD
In "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," Woody Allen begs to contradict another pundit of his age, Mick Jagger. Woody demonstrates in his latest movie that you can't EVER get what you want, and you also can't get what you need. He demonstrates this in the story of how Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson), two lovely young Americans staying in Barcelona for a few months, react to the romantic overtures of the dashing, primally sexy artist Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem). Vicky--a master's candidate in "Catalan identity," although she is not Catalan and barely speaks Catalan or even Spanish--finds that sex with Juan Antonio shakes up her previously solid feelings for her dullish American fiance, Doug (Chris Messina). Cristina--a dilettantish photographer/filmmaker who is defined by the fact that she only knows what she DOESN'T want in a relationship with a man--finds greater satisfaction with Juan Antonio, at least until Maria Elena (Penelope Cruz), Juan Antonio's volatile, insanely jealous ex-wife, shows up.

Some critics have opined that "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" is a hackneyed blast at naive Americans left at sea by European sexual sophistication. However, I think it's more a delineation of Woody's basic belief that happiness in love is transitory at best. How can you possibly hold up Juan Antonio and Maria Elena--who are constantly at each other's throats, to the point that Maria Elena brandishes knives and guns--as an example of sexual sophistication? They can't live with each other, they can't live without each other, but she may end up killing him, herself, and a few innocent bystanders.
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Format: DVD
VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA is a film about youth, about self-discovery, and about the anything goes freedom and spontaneity that Americans feel (or try to feel) when far from their own homeland and therefore liberated from their own cultures notions about love and life. Abroad one escapes the tyranny of ingrained convention and habits of mind and one gives oneself permission to experience another version of self and life in another land, or such is the promise of travel.

The problem with Vicky and Cristina (and perhaps with this film) is that Barcelona does not really liberate either of them from anything. Both seem too self-conscious and/or too self-occupied to step outside themselves and what they know. Both have a comfort level with themselves and each other that is never breeched. And so although Barcelona promises and delivers a certain amount of adventure, it does not really deliver either girl from themselves. During their stay, they are exposed to a passionate Spanish culture and introduced to a fiery tempered Spaniard but ultimately they both make the same kinds of choices that they made back home. Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) has always been an impulsive free spirit who starts things, loses interest, and does not finish them. It does not matter what country she is in, she is the same, and so the Spanish trip ultimately changes nothing for her. Vicky (Rebecca Hall) has always been conservative in matters of life and love. Although she is attracted to others that feel things and act on those feelings (like her friend Cristina) Vicky does not altogether trust emotions and is afraid to have them and, therefore, is never certain what she feels or if she feels anything at all.
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Format: DVD
On first hearing about this new Woody Allen film - Vicky Cristina Barcelona, marked up as a comedy and listed as Woody Allen return to form, I was certain to see this on release date in the UK. But life once again had me side tracked and I've only managed to get around to it now. Even though I've heard good/bad opinions from friends it was still a film I was always going to view for myself; so rented this film to draw my own conclusion.

The whole film is interwoven and shaped so that different storylines are voiced together by a narrator who fills us; the viewer; with a bigger picture of what happening at all times. Vicky Cristina Barcelona, three characters are placed in the title, starting with two americans who have different attitudes to life and love. Victoria (Rebecca Hall) plays it straight laced; a no nonsense attitude; questioning everything; her sensible cerebral life is her. Currently working on a Master's degree in Catalan Culture she leaves a well-off fiance behind in New York and travels to Barcelona with Cristina to stay with friends for the summer. Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) free spirit; sexually adventurous; committed only to herself; knowing what she doesn't want in life rather than what she does. Cristina's art is photography. The third character Barcelona with amazing architecture, music, cuisine, a beautiful enriched festively soak up the sun atmospheric city.

Living in Barcelona; Juan Antonio Gonzalo (Javier Bardem) plays the moody, seductive Picasso-ish artist who in turn sets out to seduce both girls alone or even both at the same time, a distraction part time, using what he needs to remain creative.
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