EPAL: Eight Points at Lusog: Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona

(1) Lusog? Yes, lusog as in healthy. That's how Scarlett Johanssen's breasts are - healthy, beautiful, well-placed, and allegedly all-natural. Oprah, God bless her soul, can rally all she wants behind Kate Winslet's "real" breasts that starred in The Reader. But I am with Scarlett, all the way.

(2) So, I shall refer to Ms. Johanssen's breasts as THE Breasts of Scarlett (aka THEBoS, as inspired by Gualby/Almer's THE Sarah Gerone quip). THEBoS were brought to my attention by friend who wanted to donate the 2 hours she wasted on THE KChard film to KC for her acting lessons, when she texted that THoS deserve separate billing in the movie He's Just Not That Into You. I haven't watched that movie yet and I forgot where I placed that Vanity Fair cover with Scarlett, THEBoS, Tom Ford, and Keira Knightley, so I didn't really have a mental picture. When I first watched VCB last January, I really didn't mind THEBoS, as I was more into checking if Javier Bardem was flabby (he's not) and if Penelope was deserving of the awards buzz she had been getting (this was before the Oscars and GGs, when she usually lost to Ms. Winslet in the previous derbies).

(3) So, to get a picture of THEBoS, I watched Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona again.


THEBoS did not disappoint. IN VCB, THEBoS made two prominent appearances: first when Cristina (Johanssen) and Juan antonio (Bardem) were doing it on the floor and they (THEBoS) were strategically covered by Juan antonio's arms and second when Cristina was awakened by Juan Antonio as he had to go to the hospital to fetch Maria Elena and THEBoS were delicately covered in white sheets- this was the more prominent appearance.

Glorious! BRAVO!!! Sure beats Castaway's Wilson as best performance in a non-speaking part. To think they were covered on both scenes. BUT DAMN!!! Such health, richness and beauty! Hell, yes THoS deserves separate billing. Can we have THoS included in the opening AND closing credits of whatever Ms. Johanssen's next movie is, please. These are hard-working, beautiful breasts. I wouldn't go as far as giving them Oscar statuettes, but they deserve their own Academy and Actors' Guild membership, I guess. Coupled with that raspy, I-can-still-sound-damn-sexy-even-if-I-just-read-the-phonebook voice, the sensual combo of THEBoS and the voice are a sure way to get industrial-strength boners in no time.

(4) So, now that I think I've given enough tribute to THEBoS, I just thought, Scarlett + THEBoS + his hotness Ryan Reynolds. Damn, no wonder why they got married faster than anyone can say "pre-nup". Oh, I'm supposed to write about VCB. I digress.

(5) Rebecca Hall did excellently as Vicky. I don't think she has gotten enough props for the way she portrayed the idealistic, seemingly stuck-up character. Hall found the right attack to her character, giving it the right amount of prim and proper without coming off as a Miss Minchin, anal, party pooper stereotype.

(6) Penelope Cruz, whose cleavage also deserved proper billing in her Oscar-nominated performance in Volver 2 years ago, does well as Maria Elena, the unstable ex-husband of amorous painter Juan Antonio. I think the kind of crazy she put into the character was the typical bungangera uberpassionate stereotypical Latina crazy which I didn't think she had difficulty getting into character with. The somber drab look certainly helped her establish how loony Maria Elena was. One of my favorite performances of the year, but then again the other supporting actress performances his year were really strong as well.

(7) I am not particularly a die-hard fan of Woody Allen, as I've only seen very few Woody Allen films (Annie Hall, Manhattan, Everybody Says I Love You, and Match Point), I have to say that this would top my list as my favorite Woody Allen film. It maintains a unique brand of wit Mr. Allen's films are famous for, yet stays very contemporary. I've always had this notion of Woody Allen's films as dated, but this one is very fresh.

(8) There is still somewhat a strong Woody Allen mark in the movie - the hanging ending, characters who take their melancholia in stride, the 3rd person narration is Woody Allen, only in a different voice. The somber core of the movie's theme gets a fresh, breezy treatment, thanks to Johansson's free-spirited character and the setting's beauty - Barcelona's vibrance, color, and life. The result is a beautiful balance, and I liked my dose of Woody Allen no-so-lite (but not heavy at all), thank you.

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