On Vicky Christina Barcelona:*
Woody Allen is Benny Hill fronting like he's Henry James.
On Burn After Reading:
Like a kid with a magnifying glass hovering over an anthill.
*Please note that I rented this after revisiting Whit Stillman's Barcelona, with the idea of some pithy post in mind. But once we watched Allen's Anthropologie-bloused, sexy Latin caricatures [seriously, ¿how hot are Javier and Penelope?], all I've got is, uhhh, revisit the Stillman, the slept-on middle child of the triptych. Yes, this means I can't wax poetic on the Spanish government's recent pell-mell policy of throwing money at indie American filmmakers -- The Limits of Control! Savage Grace! -- who shoot on site, but Barcelona's insular "Chris Eigermann expresses indignation in anti-American Eighties Iberia" critique engages far more with that country than Allen's "Look, I've gone abroad and revitalized my craft!" shtick could ever dream of, Gaudí name-checks and "oh, ha ha! Peter Hall's** daughter is studying 'Catalan identity'!" be damned.
**Nekkid RADA-ite types, including Diana Rigg, Helen Mirren, and Dame Judi Dench as Titania!