Synopsis: [spoiler]Conventional Vicky, who is engaged to Doug, travels to Barcelona to spend her summer holidays at the home of their parent's friends, Judy and Mark Nash, with her unconventional and open-minded friend, Cristina. While in a restaurant, the divorced painter Juan Antonio Gonzalo flirts and invites them to travel to Oviedo with him, and also to go to bed with him. The reluctant Vicky does not accept the invitation but Cristina agrees. Once in Oviedo, Cristina develops an ulcer so Vicky goes sightseeing alone with Juan Antonio. Vicky eventually falls in love with Juan Antonio and has sex with him. However, back in Barcelona, she does not say anything to her friend and Cristina moves into Juan Antonio's house, while Vicky marries Doug. When the unstable former wife of Juan Antonio, Maria Elena, overdoses, the painter brings her to his house and their troubled relationship harmonizes with the presence of Cristina. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil[/spoiler]
Vicky Cristina Barcelona is a film which interested me, but at the same time I felt quite inattentive throughout the duration of the film. Despite it's witty dialogue and relatively interesting characters, I couldn't help but feel a little bored. Starring Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz and Rebecca Hall, VCB is a love story about the tremendously unsettling activities love triangles can cause. Well, that's my take.
There were several elements to this film I thoroughly enjoyed, some of which I will discuss.
The narration was interesting, I genuinely enjoyed how it resembled that of a book's narration. A lot of the time I found myself bewildered as to what was happening, and the narration I felt deeply helped the catch up of scenes which were confusing to me.
Rebecca Hall, who plays Vicky, was quite honestly a substandard performer. There were several times when her 'acting' was questionable, and quite frankly was overshadowed by the rest of the cast's performances. However, that's not to say her performance was completely bad, there were scenes where her acting was organic, natural, and didn't actually seem as though she was acting. Similarly, Javier Bartem (who played Juan), had the same effect, but his acting was fluid, far more undiminished than that of the aforementioned co-star. However, in saying this, the scene when herself and Juan were observing the guitar player, and the expression she was holding on her face was quite fascinating; sitting quite motionless on the seat observing the man quite delicately was definitely a moment within the film where Hall (or Rebecca) shined.
The film as a whole was quite a polished looking piece, and the delicate music used throughout was definitely a great addition which further added to the clean, alluring presence of the movie.
The plot was relatively formulaic, with occasional sub-plots which were quite surprising, and this made the film that little bit more interesting to keep me interested.
Overall, an okay film, characters were interesting enough for me to continue watching, plot was not bad, the formulaic factor ruined it a slight bit, but ultimately didn't take away from the cast's performances and the overall feel of the film.