“Penelope Cruz‘s work in Vicky Cristina Barcelona is the most bolt-out-of-the-blue performance I have seen since Daniel Day Lewis‘ work in There Will Be Blood, which, and of itself, was the most bolt-out-of-the-blue performance since Robert De Niro‘s work as La Motta,” writes an HE loyalist and successful screenwriter. “Nothing I have ever seen from Cruz quite prepared me for what was coming. In fact, no actress’s work would have prepared me for what she gave up here — the ultimate bi-polar portrayal, equally believable in her character’s moments of hysteria and tenderness.
“Woody Allen has given Cruz and costar Javier Bardem the gift of allowing them to navigate two languages within single scenes, sometimes even within phrases and sentences. Its sensational stuff and some sort of case study in reactive acting, in listening (even when she despairs in listening). VCB is loaded up with great performances, I believed every second of every look made and word uttered, but its Cruz’s show all the way.
“Give the release date of the film and my expectation that the movie will crash and burn at the box office, there will probably be no nomination for this woman. That will be an outrage we can all look back on.”