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Woody Allen movie is a return to form,
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This review is from: Vicky Cristina Barcelona [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Woody Allen has made some disappointing movies in the autumn of his career but Vicky Cristina Barcelona is not just a return to form, to me it is a really mature work which outshines all his early stuff with the possible exception of Manhattan.
A perfect ensemble piece with note perfect performances from all concerned - Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall, Penelope Cruz and a particularly charismatic Javier Bardem who is clearly a really fine actor. (Contrast his charming animal magnetism in this movie with the eerily impassive psychopath Anton Chigurh in 'No Country for Old Men.')
The silent star of this movie of course is Barcelona, ravishingly photographed in luminous sunlight. The flamenco guitars on the soundtrack complement the atmosphere perfectly.
The narrative is deftly handled with no pat conclusions and just leaves you feeling the better for having spent some time with real people (albeit, in the case of Bardem and Cruz, people who are clearly very unusual.)
Watching this movie is like sitting in a European cafe on a sunny day watching fascinating events unfold between really interesting people. A small masterpiece.