I thought it was generally understood that Scarlett Johansson hurt herself pretty badly by starring in the triple black-spot whammy last year that was Scoop, The Black Dahlia and The Prestige, and that further alliances with Woody Allen feel like thin-ice excursions given the close-to-shocking atrociousness of Scoop. (Didn’t Joe Queenan write a Guardian column last fall about how Johansson is just about over? Scoop was so bad it made me think that perhaps Allen himself had lost it. He could never have made anything that bad in the ’70s or ’80s or ’90s.)
Hence, Johansson’s decision to costar in Allen’s next film, which will mainly shoot in Barcelona this summer, may be something she lives to regret. (Or the opposite. After all, Allen made one of his all-time best, Match Point, only two years ago.) Rebecca Hall, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz will also star. The Spain-set film will be Allen’s fourth in a row outside the U.S. The last three were shot in London — Match Point, Scoop and the upcoming Cassandra√É¬¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s Dream, a dark, Jules and Jim-ish romantic drama that costars Ewan McGregor, Colin Farrell and Hayley Atwell.
And while we’re on the topic of Americans (and American filmmakers) shooting in Spain, remember Whit Stillman‘s Barcelona! A little too dry and reserved here and there, but overall a penetrating, almost haunting work that I only caught up with last year (at the suggestion of Mike Binder, a friend of Stillman’s).