Barcelone - Passion & Ponderings
I've started on my quest to watch Oscar nominated movies - yes, after the bald, naked guy has been handed out, I move slowly, but I do get there - and started with Vicky Cristina Barcelona. I'm a big fan of Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem (and to be honest, I also like to drool at the latter) and I used to be very fond of Woody Allen films, although not so much in recent years, but more on that in a bit.
Two American women travel to
Feelings and passion are represented by
So why did I watch? Penelope Cruz won an Oscar for her role in the film and 48 minutes into the (97min) movie, we’re finally rewarded for our patience when she appears on screen and runs away with it. All of a sudden, the movie comes alive. Well, mostly. Not entirely, but she pulls this turgid, tortured thing into what it could have been, should have been and despite everything, I would recommend this movie solely to watch her and to a slightly lesser extent, Cruz and Bardem sparking off each other. The rest don't matter.
It should be said that the movie made me think, or to be more specific, it made me want to write an impassioned diatribe to the director about getting his head out of his arse and said arse off the therapist’s couch, but it did make me think and in that respect, I guess it's art of a sort. And what I was thinking about was this dichotomy, this contrast between thoughts and feelings, intellect and emotion and I wondered why artists keep coming back to this as if they were mutually exclusive, whether it’s not some antiquated leftover from the Middle Ages when they invented the idea of romantic love in an age where marriage and commitment were arranged. I wondered about the need to intellectualize feelings, to explain and analyze emotion, trying to bring reason into something that doesn't come from your mind and whether discussing feelings too much might not kill them. And I wondered why Allen and many others juxtapose commitment and passion as choices, as if commitment comes solely from the head and love exclusively from the heart, as if you have to give up one to get the other and I wonder why it’s so often assumed you can't have both.