Vicky Cristina Barcelona
|Vicky Cristina Barcelona|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Woody Allen|
|Produced by||Letty Aronson
|Written by||Woody Allen|
|Narrated by||Christopher Evan Welch|
|Editing by||Alisa Lepselter|
The Weinstein Company
|Distributed by||Mediapro (Spain)
Optimum Releasing (UK)
|Running time||96 minutes|
Vicky Cristina Barcelona is a 2008 romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Woody Allen. The plot centers on two American women, Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson), who spend a summer in Barcelona where they meet an artist, Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem), who is attracted to both of them while still enamored with his mentally and emotionally unstable ex-wife María Elena (Penélope Cruz). The film was shot in Spain in Barcelona, Avilés and Oviedo, and was Allen's fourth consecutive film shot outside of the United States.
The film premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, then received a rolling worldwide general release that started on August 15, 2008, in the U.S., and continued in various countries until its June 2009 release in Japan. The film was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, including nominations for Bardem, Hall and Cruz in the Actor, Actress and Supporting Actress categories, and won the award for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. Cruz won both the Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Actress in a Supporting Role. Altogether, the film won 25 out of 56 nominations.
Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) visit Barcelona for the summer, staying with Vicky's distant relative Judy (Patricia Clarkson) and her husband Mark (Kevin Dunn). While the two are great friends, Vicky is practical and traditional in her approach to love and commitment and is engaged to the reliable Doug (Chris Messina), whereas Cristina imagines herself to be a nonconformist, spontaneous but unsure of what she wants from life or love.
At an art exhibition, Cristina is intrigued by artist Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem), who Judy says has suffered a violent relationship with his ex-wife. Later, he approaches brazenly the two women to invite them to join him right away for the weekend in the city of Oviedo, in a small plane he flies himself, for sight-seeing, fine eating and drinking, and hopefully, love-making. Cristina is won over by the offer almost at once, but Vicky is unimpressed and reluctant; she however eventually decides to accompany her friend anyway, mainly to watch over her.
At the end of their first day, Cristina accepts to join Juan Antonio in his room, but she quickly falls ill, forcing the next day Vicky and Juan Antonio to spend the remainder of the weekend together while she recuperates. Vicky gradually changes her opinion of Juan Antonio as he tells her about his tumultuous relationship with his former wife María Elena, and when he takes her to visit his father, an old poet. She gets deeply moved by a Spanish guitar performance late at night, and finally succumbs to Juan Antonio's advances. The next day they fly back to Barcelona.
Feeling guilty, Vicky does not mention the incident to Cristina, and the two begin to grow apart, Vicky throwing herself into her studies and Cristina moving in with Juan Antonio. Learning that his ex-wife María Elena (Penélope Cruz) attempted to kill herself, Juan Antonio brings her to his home, where Cristina already lives. After some defiance, the two women grow fond of each other. Cristina realizes that the ex-spouses are still in love, and María Elena suggests that Cristina may be the element that can give balance and stability to their relationship. All three become romantically involved with one another.
In the meantime, Vicky is joined in Spain by an enthusiastic Doug and the two get married. When Cristina discloses her new life to her, she gets secretely jealous, and after a few other awkward moments, she realizes she is unsatisfied in her married life and still attracted to Juan Antonio. Learning that Judy is similarly unhappy in her marriage, she confides to her, and Judy, who sees her younger self in Vicky, decides to bring Juan Antonio and Vicky together. Meanwhile, Cristina becomes restless and at some point decides to leave Juan Antonio and María Elena; without her, their relationship quickly falls apart again.
As the summer winds to a close, Judy arranges for Juan Antonio and Vicky to meet at a party. Juan Antonio begs Vicky to meet him again privately before leaving Spain, which she finally accepts, lying to Doug in the process. At his home, Juan Antonio seduces and wins Vicky over again, but they are interrupted by María Elena who bursts in with a gun, firing wildly as Juan Antonio tries to calm her. Vicky gets shot in the hand in the process, and leaves, shouting they are insane and she could never live like this. She confesses the entire story to Cristina, who never realized how Vicky felt about Juan Antonio, and wishes she could have helped her. Doug, Vicky and Cristina return to America; Doug never learns what truly happened, Vicky goes back to her married life, and Cristina is back where she started, unsure of what she wants.
- Scarlett Johansson as Cristina
- Rebecca Hall as Vicky
- Javier Bardem as Juan Antonio Gonzalo
- Penélope Cruz as María Elena
- Chris Messina as Doug
- Patricia Clarkson as Judy Nash
- Kevin Dunn as Mark Nash
- Salvador Nasralla as Tio Gaybri
In 2007, controversy arose in Catalonia (Spain) because the film was partially funded with public money: Barcelona's city hall provided one million euro and the Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia) half a million, or ten percent of the film's budget.
This was the third time Johansson and Allen worked together, following Match Point and Scoop. This film also marked the second time Johansson and Hall worked together, the first time being in The Prestige.
The movie featured several paintings by the Catalan artist Agustí Puig. Puig was even commissioned to create a painting for the movie, the result being La Protectora II, though it was not used on set.
The film was shot on location in Barcelona (Park Güell, La Sagrada Familia, Casa Mia) and Oviedo.
Scott Tobias wrote in the Onion AV Club that it was "a witty and ambiguous movie that's simultaneously intoxicating and suffused with sadness and doubt". Richard Roeper suggested that Cruz should receive an Academy Award nomination for her role. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle praised the film as "the work of a confident and mature artist", referring to Allen. Manohla Dargis of The New York Times wrote "Although Vicky Cristina trips along winningly, carried by the beauty of its locations and stars — and all the gauzy romanticism those enchanted places and people imply — it reverberates with implacable melancholy, a sense of loss." Richard Corliss ended his review of the film with "The movie has neither the sardonic heft of Max Ophüls's La Ronde nor the emotional precision of Ingmar Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night, two films that also dance the change-partners gavotte. But Vicky Cristina Barcelona is so engaging so much of the time that it feels like a modest rejuvenation: evidence that a summer in Spain can do wonders for a writer-director who may not have outlived his prime." Ian Freer of Empire gave the film 4 out of 5, and wrote "within Allen's recent output, Vicky Cristina is a highlight. See it for beautiful locales, an ambivalent look at human relationships and a clutch of great performances, especially from Cruz."
Top ten lists
||The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (June 2011)|
The film appeared on many critics' top-ten lists of the best films of 2008.
- 5th – David Denby, The New Yorker
- 5th – Ray Bennett, The Hollywood Reporter
- 5th – Robert Mondello, NPR
- 7th – Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal
- 7th – Keith Phipps, The A.V. Club
- 7th – Kyle Smith, New York Post
- 7th – Steve Rea, The Philadelphia Inquirer
- 8th – Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
- 9th – Carrie Rickey, The Philadelphia Inquirer
- 10th – Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun
Awards and nominations
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (October 2011)|
The film won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Woody Allen won his first Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay and was nominated for the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Penélope Cruz won the Best Supporting Actress award from numerous organizations including: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the Independent Spirit Awards, the Boston Society of Film Critics, the Goya Awards, the Kansas City Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the National Board of Review, the New York Film Critics Circle, and the Southeastern Film Critics Association.
- Vicky Cristina Barcelona Sky Gala[dead link] from the London Film Festival website
- "Allen film funding angers Spanish". BBC News Online. 2007-07-30.
- "Vicky Cristina Barcelona". Box Office Mojo. 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2011-02-06.
- Release dates for Vicky Cristina Barcelona from the Internet Movie Database
- (2007-04-12). Woody Allen rewards Spanish alter ego with role in new film. The Times. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
- "Agustí Puig - Human Traces - Gallery DeNovo Exhibition Information". Gallerydenovo.com. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- "Filming locations of Vicky Cristina Barcelona". Movieloci.com. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- Vicky Cristina Barcelona at Box Office Mojo
- "Vick Cristina Barcelona". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
- "Vicky Cristina Barcelona". Onion AV Club. Retrieved August 15, 2008.
- "Ebert & Roeper - Vicky Cristina Barcelona". Buena Vista TV. Retrieved August 15, 2008.[dead link]
- Mick LaSalle (August 15, 2008). "Movie review: 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona'". San Francisco Chronicle.
- The Portrait of Two Ladies, a review from The New York Times August 15, 2008
- Woody Allen's Barcelona Summer of Love. Time. August 15, 2008.
- Vicky Cristina Barcelona by Ian Freer of Empire
- "Film Critic Top Ten Lists: 2008 Critics' Picks". Metacritic. Retrieved January 11, 2009.
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- Vicky Cristina Barcelona at the Internet Movie Database
- Vicky Cristina Barcelona at Box Office Mojo
- Vicky Cristina Barcelona at Rotten Tomatoes
- Vicky Cristina Barcelona at Metacritic
- Vicky Cristina Barcelona at The Numbers
- Filming locations of Vicky Cristina Barcelona at Movieloci.com