Scarlett Johansson as Cristina
Directed by Woody Allen
Written by Woody Allen
Release Date August 15, 2008
Genre Drama / Romance / Comedy
MPAA Rating PG-13
Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson), two young American girls, go to spend the summer in Barcelona. Vicky is straight-laced and about to be married. Cristina is a free-spirit and very sexually adventurous. They meet a flamboyant, Spanish artist (Javier Bardem) and his beautiful but insane ex-wife (Penelope Cruz). They all become involved in romantic adventures that are either hilarious or harrowing, depending on your point of view. Barcelona is seen as a very beautiful, romantic city like New York was in the movie, Manhattan.
Scarlett Johansson’s Role
Scarlett Johansson portrays the free spirited and sexually open minded Cristina. We discover that Cristina is restless emotionally and artistically. She has the impulse to be creative — she starred in and directed a 12 min film — but not, at least so far as she can locate it, the talent. Cristina is drawn to artistic people and, unlike Vicky, is immediately attracted to Juan Antonio, a local painter. Cristina, ready for an adventure, takes up on his offer to go to Oviedo to “eat well, drink good wine and make love.” Vicky tags along. Cristina is eager for a night with Juan Antonio (“If you don’t start undressing me soon,” she tells him, “this is going to turn into a panel discussion”) but things do not go as she planned. Eventually, Cristina moves in with Juan Antonio but their relationship is soon transformed as his vivacious ex. wife, Maria Elena (Penelope Cruz), enters the picture.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona is an engaging and entertaining film and, to me, as a whole one of the best Scarlett has done in a while. The whole cast is brilliant, particularly Cruz as Maria Elena. Her role is the strongest one and she is truly magnetic to watch. Unfortunately, the role of Cristina is not as meaty as that of Maria Elena or even Vicky and, in the end, Scarlett does not have as much screentime as I would have expected. Still, she does well with the material given, as always.
… Penelope Cruz
… Javier Bardem
… Patricia Clarkson
… Rebecca Hall
Trivia & Facts
• Woody Allen wrote the parts of Cristina and Juan Antonio with Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem in mind. Apparently, Bardem was his first and only choice for the male lead.
• Marks Scarlett’s third time of working with Woody Allen, the other two being Match Point and Scoop.
• Rebecca Hall co-starred with Scarlett in The Prestige.
• Filming began July 2007 in Barcelona, Spain. The filming took place for the total of seven weeks, with one week of work in Asturias and a day in New York.
Quotes: Scarlett Johansson
• “Of course Woody was so unbelievably enamoured of her. He’d be like ‘Uh-uh-uh P-Penelope, P-Penelope. You’d think, ‘You are such a stuttering fool, man. Just get your stuff together.’ But what can you do – he’s an appreciator of fine things, and Penelope is quite fine.”
(on Penelope Cruz)
Quotes: Her Character
• “I’ll go to your room, but you’ll have to seduce me.”
• “No meaning? You don’t think that authentic love gives life meaning?”
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