I finally saw the new Woody Allen flick - Vicky Christina Barcelona which surprisingly (well to me) was still on at Cineworld. Reviews had said it was the best WA for years which wasnt saying much but it was pretty shallow.
I really enjoyed it the acting was uniformly strong with Rebecca Hall who played Vicky who I had never seen before and Penelope Cruz very good. The setting of Barcelona also did not distract as London did in the last few pretty shoddy films that Woody Allen made.
In part I think this is because it was made clear this is a visitor's movie. It begins and ends in an airport, takes place over a summer and the use of Spanish is at a minimum - in fact this becomes a bit of a running joke between Bardem and Cruz.
I also dont think it's shallow although there are many cliches - the tempestuous artist, the two friends with opposite views of love and life it actually explores many themes. The nature of love and security, what value we put on art and music and the role of Americans abroad. There are no real answers in a sense the ending recalls Manhattan.
Also I think it dispels the idea that Allen has Scarlett J as some sort of muse who he puts on a pedestal. She is portrayed here as a pretty weak and superficial young woman - which she plays excellently - not really an object of desire.
It's also funny which is an advantage. Bardem has some very sleazy chat up lines "What colour are your eyes?".
A partial return for Mr Allen then.