Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Got wood?

As our regular readers are aware, I spend Tuesdays in Newtown at Club Dendy. Please note that I refer not to the club that you pay to join for discounted tickets etc, but instead a club that serves solely as an excuse for my friends to get together regularly and see great films. It doesn't hurt, of course, that I get to choose them. Control freak? I prefer discerning...

Tonight, being Tuesday, I just got home from this week's screening and am buzzing with the pure, unadulterated excellence of Woody Allen's latest effort, Vicky Christina Barcelona.

Now, old Woody has to work hard to get my respect. I adore him as a director - Annie Hall, enough said - but the whole incest thing took a little of the shine off. But with Vicky (may I call you Vicky?) he is one shining, shimmering, sparkling sequin of a man.

This is the tale of two American women who travel to Barcelona - the free spirited Christina (Scarlett Johansson) who dreams of "a counterintuitive love" and is unwilling to settle for safety, stability and a white picket fence, while Vicky (Rebecca Hall), the yin to Christina's yang, is engaged to a man whose Pantone colour would be an unassuming yet irritating beige named Doug.

Enter Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem) and his passionate, sultry, sexy saucy confronting incredible ex wife Maria Elena (Penelope Cruz) - the kind of woman that I hope to be, even when wielding a gun.

It's this intensity, this ferocity that makes Vicky Christina Barcelona such a truly fabulous film. I can't help but think of the inspirational quotes that dot graduation speeches and greeting cards alike - be bold, live the life you've imagined, go confidently in the direction of your dreams et al. Vicky Christina is a two hour testament to exactly that, and in my books, a must see.