Critic Consensus: Javier Bardem's searing performance helps to elevate Biutiful, as does Alejandro González Iñárritu's craftsmanship, but the film often lapses into contrivance and grimness.
|Rating:||R (for disturbing images, language, some sexual content, nudity and drug use)|
|Genre:||Art House & International, Drama|
|Directed By:||Alejandro González Iñárritu|
|Written By:||Armando Bo, Nicolás Giacobone, Alejandro González Iñárritu|
|In Theaters:||Dec 29, 2010 Limited|
|On DVD:||May 31, 2011|
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as Chino Obeso
as Barman Bar Hai
as Chino Bodega
as Hai's Father
as Hai's Mother
as Hombre de Luto
as Niño Muerto
as Señora Funeral
as Mujer Grande
as Cirujano 1
as Cirujano 2
as Cirujano 3
as Secretaria Fincas
as Hombre Semidesnudo
as Empleado Cementerio ...
as Empleado Cementerio ...
as Mesera Ma
as Chica Joven 2
as Presentadora Informa...
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News & Interviews for Biutiful
Critic Reviews for Biutiful
The film is beautifully photographed and incredibly effective. Holding it all together is a brilliant central performance by Javier Bardem.
This bloated drama is redeemed by its focus of a man caught between two distinctive and memorable worlds.
Bardem and Iñárritu draw you in to a story that says so much about not only its individual characters but also of life, exile, love, family and death.
Audience Reviews for Biutiful
This sad, depressing drama wants to create an unbearable sense of tragedy that doesn't always feel genuine, but even so it benefits from a strong performance by Bardem, who is able to inject some complexity into his character despite the rather artificial plot.
"Biutiful" is a near masterpiece of human suffering, dank realism, and redemption; being that this is the fourth film from the acclaimed Iñárritu, you should already get the hint that it tends to focuses on the former instead of the latter. Make no mistake, this is a heavy film in every sense of the word, and that might isolated viewers. But "Biutiful" is more than it's plot synopsis suggests. Iñárritu balances many complex themes effectively, and though the tale concerns a dying man coming to terms with it's predicament, "Biutiful" doesn't pigeonhole itself. It's as expansive and broad as the director's ambitious, multicontinental opus "Babel" from 2006. Javier Bardem gives one of the performances of his career here, and is the reason that the picture is so emotionally devastating and honest, without feeling forcefully so (which is miraculous considering the pigment of it's subject matter). It's a testament to the films craft that even it's unexpected supernatural elements are handled with such conviction, never making a conflict in tone or logic. Unrelentingly Grim, and yes...beautiful, this is in many ways Iñárritu's finest work to date. Same goes for Bardem.
Biutiful is a long, endlessly bleak gloomfest made worthwhile by a transcendetal performance by the great Javier Bardem. The talented filmmaker Alejandro Innaritu provides a backdrop rich with detail and atmosphere. All his other tragic films, (worth seeing) contain multiple story lines, in the case of Babel, set all over the world, but somehow tied together. These multiple story lines somehow leaven the atmosphere and make the films very eclectic and watchable. Here, for the first time, he focuses on the devastation of one guy in one self contained scenario - and what devastation! And unlike the book of Job, there's no interesting debate on the nature of god or an explanation of the meaning of it all.
The setting is present day Barcelona among the underclass of illegal immigrants, smugglers, hooker and drug dealer/users. What I quarrel with is that Innaritu has jam packed the woes suffered by Bardem to include, just for a start!!, terminal cancer, two cute kids, who happen to have an irresponsible hooker addict mother (who is sleeping with Bardem's brother), Bardem being complicit in the mass murder of illegal Chinese immigrants who work in a hidden sweat shop.
The thrust of the drama is wondering whether Bardem will find a way to get his affairs in order before his inevitable death a few weeks hence. There's almost no break for the tragedy, and therefore, one becomes benumbed to the pain quite early in the two hour and forty five minute running time.
I don't know what message he's after here other than life sucks and everyone you're close to will always let you down and the kids will be the ones to suffer. Also, if you think the lovely Gaudi buildings will at least give some visual relief from the misery, you'll be let down. They are never shown. Instead, it's the mouldy appartments and mean streets of the armpit of Barcelona. If this wallow in hell appeals, it's certainly worth a rental, and Bardem is really worth watching. The real tragedy is that his performance was not in a more balanced and multi-faceted film, but in a dirge like wallow of misery.
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