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Vicky Christina Barcelona

Year: 2008
Studio: Gravier Productions
Director: Woody Allen
Writer: Woody Allen
Cast: Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Patricia Clarkson, Kevin Dunn
Regarded by many as the flick that got Woody Allen back on track, he's again transplanted his gilt-edged, rose coloured glasses and this time shows us a fantasy Barcelona, a place where hot blooded artists like Juan Antonio (Bardem) live in light, roomy studios, lunches are taken in cute rustic cafes, the women are all under 30 and sexually adventurous and there's an endless supply of wine.

When American friends Vicky (Hall) and Christina (Johansson) go to the Spanish city for a holiday, they fall in with the seductive Juan who proceeds to proposition them both.

Although Christina is the more open minded of the two, it's Vicky who falls into bed with him in a moment of tempestuous passion - despite having a straight laced finace back in New York and a clear-cut path in life for herself that doesn't invovle such shallow flings. When Vicky then can't get Juan out of her mind, he proceeds to embark on an affair with Christina.

Then Juan's psychotic ex-wife Elena (Cruz) comes back into his life, and as well as the expected, at-times violent chaos, she fits right in to his and Christina's hedonistic lives, all three of them becoming lovers while the memory of one sweet night drives Vicky almost to distraction, her formely unshakable assurance in what she wants out of life hopelessly shattered.

Allen wants to be a modern Shakespeare and he goes a good way towards achieving it. He's well informed and imaginative when it comes to the vagaries of love and desire, and if he wants to present the world the way we all wish it were - where none of us are old, poor, ugly or have real jobs, what's wrong with that? It's what the movies are all about, pretty, sexy and langourous - the way we all wish love could be.

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