Episode 11 – Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

The Woody Allen Pages Podcast
The Woody Allen Pages Podcast
Episode 11 - Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)

Vicky Cristina Barcelona is the 38th film written and directed by Woody Allen, first released in 2008. 

Rebecca Hall stars as Vicky, and Scarlett Johansson stars as Cristina. Two friends who have decided to spend the summer in Barcelona. The two friends have very different views on love, and their lives take very different paths when they encounter Juan Antonio, played by Javier Bardem and his ex-wife Maria Elena, played by Penelope Cruz.

Woody Allen’s London period became a European period with Vicky Cristina Barcelona. And unlike his London films, which were re-written from American settings, Spain is a deep part of this film. A mix of romance and morality, it is rightly considered one of the highlights of his later career.

Welcome to the Woody Allen Pages Podcast, by me, the creator of the Woody Allen Pages website. This week, episode 11, we look at 2008’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona. How it was conceived, how it was made, and how it was so unlike any other Woody Allen film. Spoilers are everywhere so watch the film first, then come back.

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  1. VCB is a great film. The scene in the film that always gives me a great chuckle is the little interstitial date prep scene towards the end where Woody does the four or five little quick cuts with the wonderful Spanish guitar playing under it while showing how many wardrobe changes Vicky goes through as she prepares to meet Juan Antonio. She has her first outfit, then she goes through three or four different variations that she tries on in the mirror, but ultimately she leaves the house in the original outfit. It’s a simple and insightful scene that reveals the capricious and whimsical nature of women. It’s just a little Woody touch, that would only be in a film done by a Director who is attentive, and really marvels at and appreciates the splendid nuances of female behavior. You don’t get that kinda stuff in a superhero movie or a Michael Bay movie. Folks you just ain’t gonna find it there, but in Woody’s movies you do find it!!! EUREKA!!!

    GO WOODY!!!

  2. So glad to have season 2 of the podcast here at last! I’m a big fan of VCB and your discussion of its merits is spot on.

    If you’re ever considering episodes beyond examinations of individual films, may I suggest:

    1. An episode revealing a bit on how you discovered Woody & became so enamored of his work. What led you to create the website in the first place? Have you ever reached out to interview the man himself?

    2. An episode looking at the Woody Allen comic strip of the late 1970s & early 1980s. I read the hardcover collection during the pandemic & the strip is an interesting take on Woody’s persona. I don’t believe he even mentions it in his autobiography.

    3. A look at the 1969 Woody Allen television special (on YouTube).

    Keep up the good work!

  3. I saw VCB three times in theaters back in 2008. I’ve seen it another 5 or 6 times on blu-ray. The scene that always does it for me is ‘Granada’ playing on the soundtrack going into the lap dissolves with Juan Antonio and Vicky. It’s one of the most beautiful scenes in any WA movie. VCB is a treasure. Terrific episode!

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