Beatriz At Dinner – 6.5/10
Back in February for Oscar night I won myself a complimentary movie at The Fox during one of their trivia rounds and decided to use it last night after working a late shift to see “Beatriz At Dinner” with Salma Hayek. I’ve been a longtime fan of Salma’s and haven’t seen her in a movie for a while, and while it was a pleasure to see her in this one here, I have to say I was lukewarm on this one.
Ok, so first the good: Salma’s acting, whatever she tapped into to prepare for this role exuded traces of her masterful acting in “Frida.” Hayek’s grounded performance bore the enormous grace, and intimidation of a praying mantis, setting up the perfect opposition to John Lithgow and the yuppified clan that puts her under a microscope and heat lamp during a posh dinner party. Lithgow was great, but nothing we haven’t seen before, he’s got the grasp for playing an asshole. Also in the movie was Chloe Sevigny and compared to the roles she normally takes, her character was so unbelievably boring that I almost didn’t notice her. The other aspect of the film that was impressive was the direction of Miguel Arteta. I always love a director that takes the time to really see what is in his shot, and it would seem when it comes to the cinematography, he was meticulous and then some. He was also extremely detailed, in terms of character ticks, habits and observations. The people depicted in this film, I occasionally run into living in the beaches, so I was both impressed and a little frightened at how dead on the portrayals were.
Okay, the bad: Maybe I need to see it again, but at some point in this film, the writing couldn’t decide if it was a linear story or a surrealist one. The writing was loud enough to make a statement about how much we take the world, and life in of itself for granted, but felt like once it made that point, it was looking for a way out. I’d like to think I have an open mind, and I really hate the sentence “I didn’t get it,” but honestly I didn’t, and if you did rather than spoiling anything in the comments section send me a message as to what you thought that was, cause I still could not figure it out. It’s like the movie has all of these brilliant elements, that you would figure would culminate to something significant, and in the end you’re left scratching your head. Was it trying to be symbolic, metaphorical, ironic? Or was it just trying?
In the end, while I do adore Salma, I’m glad I saw this for free, and would file this one under “wait to see if it comes to Netflix.”