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Vicky Christina Barcelona (12A)

PUBLISHED: 13:36 10 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:27 24 August 2010

by Nadia Sam-Daliri www.vickycristina-movie.com The premise on which Vicky Christina Barcelona is based is so obvious that it should make this Barcelona based flick little more than a Hollywood bash at European romanticism. So hu

by Nadia Sam-Daliri

www.vickycristina-movie.com

The premise on which Vicky Christina Barcelona is based is so obvious that it should make this Barcelona based flick little more than a Hollywood bash at European romanticism.

So hurrah for Woody Allen's eccentric musings on relationships and whoop whoop for Penelope Cruz.

Cruz plays neither of the title's namesakes but her explosion on screen half-way through is so rivetingly mad that an Oscar nomination rightly followed.

It centres around two American friends who get erotically propositioned by smooth-talking artist Juan Antonio. Freethinker Christina (Scarlett Johansson) and uptight Vicky (Rebecca Hall), entertainingly swoon over the muscle-bound Adonis.

But it is Cruz's high-wired Maria Elena who injects life into this otherwise bland look at European bohemia (as authentically as it can be perceived from the most cynical of Yank perspectives).

Frenziedly skipping between Spanish and English, fag somehow irresistibly hanging out of mouth she's beautifully, loudly, hysterically unhinged.

As Juan Antonio's ex wife, Maria Elena, we learn, is also his main artistic inspiration.

She pumps fire into his every step.

On this set, Woodie Allen probably felt the same.

Rating 3/5

nadia.sam-daliri@archant.co.uk


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