A couple of short DVD reviews. Or rather observations about two DVDs, for what they're worth.
An Education is as good as Lynn Barber's book. It's based on the first part of the memoir, which had originally been a freestanding anecdote recounted in Granta. Interesting how Barber has spun so much from one short piece of writing. Good on her: a real professional.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona is nearly wholly ruined by the worst voiceover I've ever encountered: in many parts it's little better than crass, irritating and redundant narration. At one point we thought we had the audio-description activated.
How ever did Woody think it was a good idea? Was he looking for a way to participate more noticeably in the film (he didn't appear in it, nor did a Woody cipher)? Something blinded him to its awfulness and vanity always seems to perform that trick mercilessly. Or was it driven by a commercial concern for accessibility and imposed by a cloth-eared producer?
Whatever, it's a shame: there's a very good film in there struggling to escape being button-holed by a man with a mike. And, in any event, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem are, of course, fantastically watchable. Their very evident chemistry made this recent event predictable.