Aug 24, 2008

Returning to form, in perpetuity

Woody Allen's new movie, Vicky Cristina Barcelona has been hailed as the "best Woody Allen movie in years", just like the last one. Why is every Allen movie these days hailed as a return to form? They can't all be. Its like each return to form comes, and goes and is forgotten just in time for the next return to form. With so many returns, doesn't any one of them, you know, stick around?

It's pretty thin stuff — a lubricious fandango satirising women's infatuation with the creative temperament, as embodied in the hunky form of Spanish painter Javier Bardem. Johansson doesn't seem to have figured out she's the butt of the joke; Cruz knows and doesn't care, which makes her performance hilarious. Rebecca Hall both knows and cares, and it registers in every frame: she gives a wonderful performance, intelligent, fragile, her face swimming in and out of its beauty, depending on the scene. I can't wait for her to be in something else.

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