Wednesday, January 28, 2009
"My education was dismal. I went to a series of schools for mentally disturbed teachers." Woody Allen
His movies have never grabbed my attentions for too long and less so when he is in one. I saw the trailer for Vicky Cristina Barcelona way back and was not too intrigued and when I heard it was a Woody Allen movie I had no inclination to watch the thing. A friend told me it was good stuff though and at the risk of confusing any newcomer to my blog I am sure the two of you regulars will be okay with me bashing out some more details on a film I have just seen... as if this was some kind of movie critics blog. Rest assured it is not.
I do however, tend to not watch movies for a few months, and then do a few at a time. Sometimes back to back. I remember at high school I bunked out from boarding school on a Saterday night to watch Pretty Women and Die Hard 2. Both memorable. Then in Boston for a couple of months I paid for one movie, watched it, then snuck into the bathroom during the change and into the cinema to watch a second without a ticket. I forget the first, but the 2nd ...well how could I forget the second? It was Roberto Benigni's - Life is Beautiful ... and I am happy to say Boston now holds some of my tears shed over some incredibly moving scenes in a great movie.
I have been wanting to watch so many movies actually over the last 3 months or so. I think since Busting Down the Door came on the circuit, but I have been too lazy to actually make it to the Bioscope. Until this week that is, when I watched Burn After Reading on Tuesday - average. And now this evenings viewing of Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Well this, in my opinion was a pearler. Such a pleasant flow and some interesting characters that were fiery and spicy, but not in the obvious way that I think Woody Allen normally gets his muses to perform for him. I did not feel the exact puppet like movements from the actors being influenced by the little fella coming alive on screen, but rather just some of his ideas, which have always been sexually controversial. Didn't he marry his daughter or something? What a strange cat ...well at least he never tried to hide any of it. Of course his movies were an outlet to get his perverted notions across, but this time there were some really well portrayed ideas on what goes on between men and women in love. One notion really rang true to me in the movie, but I won't go into that. What was brilliant though - acting wise, was Penelope Cruz taking on the fiery suicidal self confessed genius of art and music and sex. The first time that I really took to what she was doing on screen. Incredibly impressive performance I thought.
The fantastic performances all round and the exquisite yet subtle presentation of the Spanish city, culture, landscape and language was all too impressive for me to enjoy only a little bit. It was inspiring, thoughtful, agreeable, disagreeable, soft and fiery all at the right times without being invasive ...which was all a surprise - from my first impressions way back when the film was first introduced to me in an over lengthy trailer - and a good one at that.