Biutiful

Biutiful

(2011)

Spanish drama from director Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel, 21 Grams) and starring the brilliant Javier Bardem (No Country For Old Men) in a role which won him Best Actor at Cannes 2010. Set in Barcelona, Bardem plays an underworld figure and devoted single dad, as he attempts to reconcile with a past love and secure a future for his children as his own death draws near.

Flicks Review

Unwatchable without Javier Bardem’s affecting, devastatingly committed performance, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful – his first film minus regular writing partner Guillermo Arriaga – plunges the viewer into a shapeless, sprawling character study that functions as nothing less than a punishing reminder of how rotten the universe can be. Yet even with a powerhouse like Bardem holding fort, this misery-laden feel-bad saga struggles to transcend its unsubtly despairing view of humanity, and might have you gasping for air long before its funereally paced 148 minutes are up.... More

Like Frenchman Olivier Assayas, if a lot less graceful, Iñárritu’s a globally minded filmmaker who recognises the world is getting smaller, and in Biutiful, he ambitiously threads together subplots involving cheap Chinese labour and African street hawkers into a disease-of-the-week story where Bardem’s cancer-suffering middle-man Uxbal is forced to confront his mortality. But it’s the sort of film where that’s not enough: he’s also the father of two children whose mum is a drug-addled, bipolar prostitute (Maricel Alvarez: terrific), and when time permits, a medium-for-hire who communicates with the dead.

While Iñárritu’s newfound narrative linearity and occasionally stunning imagery are welcome, the film is overall, as clumsy as the splintered structures of Babel and 21 Grams. It clobbers you over the head with such merciless destitution that its rare moments of light – such as a tiny touching scene where Uxbal’s kids are escorted home by the wife of a Senegalese dealer – feel both emotionally stirring and unfortunately short-changed.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 2 ratings, 2 reviews
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Disappointed!! It looks promising but damn this drags on.It is very all over the place.Depressing.It has good ratings but obviously from a bunch of stuck up arty film critics. Because the film isn't typical hollywood critics go on about how "deep" and "raw" it is. Bardem plays his role well but it just isn't that great.


BY Bonux superstar

With Biutiful, Director Gonzales goes back to his roots (Amores Perros) after a less convincing Hollywood stint (21 Grams, Babel).
Bardem is back to where he also belongs, meaning far from any Hollywood romantic comedy.
This duo of director/actor is class act. Style and substance.


The Press Reviews

65% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • In spite of fine work from Bardem and Álvarez, Biutiful is an irritating, oppressive 150-minute dirge, not the step forward Iñárritu's dissolved partnership with Arriaga seemed to promise. Full Review

  • Surely few actors have faces that project sorrow more completely than Bardem. Full Review

  • Iñárritu has made a modern classical tragedy and, in Javier Bardem, he has found his first authentic hero; a character caught up in an intricate web of events he cannot extricate himself from. Full Review

  • Biutiful has a strong, linear narrative drive. Nevertheless, and most of all, it's a gorgeous, melancholy tone poem about love, fatherhood and guilt. Full Review

  • Sometimes it seems as if Iñárritu is literally carving out his actor's heart, so tangible does Bardem make Uxbal's fears. Iñárritu has so much that he wants to say - too much, in fact, and the film's central weakness - that he has created an emotional tsunami for both the actors and the audience. Full Review

  • Mr. Bardem, best known to American audiences for his chillingly persuasive embodiment of evil in "No Country for Old Men," combines muscular, charismatic physicality with an almost delicate sensitivity, and this blend of the rough and the tender gives Biutiful a measure of emotional credibility that it may not entirely deserve. Full Review

  • Excesses aside, Iñárritu’s fresh focus and tactile direction pack a palpable punch here. Bardem hefts much of the weight with bare-bones assurance, redeeming his rep after Eat Pray Love. Full Review

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