Vicky Cristina Barcelona Dazzles, Disappoints

Allen's latest tragicomedy splits critics
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 15, 2008 11:19 AM CDT
Woody Allen, far right, poses with his wife Soon-Yi, second from right, and cast members Scarlett Johansson, far left, and Penelope Cruz in Los Angeles, Monday, Aug. 4, 2008.    (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
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(Newser) – Critics are sharply divided over Woody Allen’s latest flick, Vicky Cristina Barcelona. The story of two women’s romantic adventures in Spain—“as much a tragedy as a comedy,” Mahnola Dargis writes for the New York Times—carries “a sun-drenched splendor that never falters,” David Denby writes in the New Yorker. Allen, he says, “works everything out with a stringent thoroughness that still allows room for surprise.”

The film “trips along winningly,” agrees Dargis. Kenneth Turan of the LA Times isn’t so sure. “Despite promising elements,” the film “is too intent on being taken seriously to be more than mildly diverting,” he writes. As far as Allen goes, Turan observes, “Elvis has truly left the building and, judging by appearances, he's not coming back.”