Vicky Cristina Barcelona

is pretty typical of what Woody Allen is doing these
days — Beautiful music and photography, good writing and acting,
an interesting location, characters a bit more individualized than
he used to do.

I’ve only spent a few hours in Barcelona (between trains), and
it was a cloudy day, so I’m not that good a judge,
but it certainly seemed like a good depiction of what the city looks
like. Not the loving detail of the New York brownstones in Interiors,
but probably as good as the London in Match

As far as the acting goes, Penelope Cruz stole the show in a
fairly minor role, but everybody was pretty good. They seem to be
well characterized without the irritating mannerisms of the
earlier Woody Allen.

The topic of the movie is the characters’ choices between
settling for the comfortable and getting burned by passionate
romance. The most intriguing interlude is the one in the middle
where the two Spanish artists form a ménage à trois
with the American dilletante. Not especially believable, but a
good fantasy, and it doesn’t last long.

So if that sounds interesting, you’ll probably enjoy this
movie. I don’t know of anyone who’s been as consistently as
interesting over as many decades as Woody Allen.

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