I felt, after seeing Woody Allen's latest, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, the way I do after I've been to an excellent tapas restaurant; I'd been presented with a series of small moments of flavor and texture and presentation, some more pleasant than others, and while the overall experience didn't add up to a full meal, it was still a sincere pleasure. Allen's been globetrotting lately -- although you can suggest that's been motivated less by some muse of artistic inspiration than by the equally beguiling, if less dignified, seductress of international financing. After several films set in London, Allen's now in Barcelona, Spain, as recently-graduated friends Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) are taking some time to see the world before going back to America and futures as bright and unfixed as a sunlit fogbank.

Staying with family friends Mark and Judy Nash (Kevin Dunn and Patricia Clarkson), Vicky and Cristina take in the sights and experiences of Barcelona. Cristina's able to lose herself in the moment; for Vicky, each summer day's tempered by the certainty that summer will soon end. But one night after an art gallery showing, at an appropriately bohemian venue, Vicky and Cristina are approached by the painter whose work they've just seen, Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem), who proposes they join him as he flies to a small town so they might spend the weekend making love. Vicky's appalled; Cristina's intrigued; Juan Antonio is a laid-back seducer with a ready counter-argument to every objection: "Life is long; life is dull; life is full of pain." Why not have a little fun? It's not enough to talk the girls into agreeing to go to bed with him, but it is enough to get them on-board the plane. ...
categories Reviews, Cinematical