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Biutiful

A 2011 movie directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu

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Biutiful

  • Feb 17, 2011
Rating:
+2
This movie isn't intended for people who plan to see Just Go With It or The Eagle. This movie is entrenched with misery and tragedy and followed by death. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu leaves nothing to chance in his effort to display tragedy of the human spirit. Everything about this movie from the characters to the environment is falling apart and there is little to do but sit there and be weighted down by people just trying to survive.
 
Inarritu tells the story of a Uxbal, a low level criminal who recently finds out he has very little time to live. He needs to get all his affairs in order and at the same time come to grips with the finality of his life. He also must provide for his young children all while his brother screws him over at work and his bipolar wife tries to reenter his home life. His life is a mess and he has very little time to fix it.
 
We are introduced to Uxbal as a man who can communicate with the dead, and ease the transition for both the deceased and the loved ones they leave behind. This story line is probably inserted to enforce the perception that no one knows how to properly face death. While it enriches the character, it adds nothing to the story. I understand why the director wanted to keep that part of the character in the movie, but it serves no purpose in advancing the story and even detracts a little from the character.
 
This is just one example of the clutter that is involved with the movie. We also see juxtapositions between deported African dealers and imported Chinese slave labor. His detached nature from his father, wife, and brother while at the same time trying to leave a lasting legacy and protection for his children. It seems that not only is Uxbal trying to do too much in a short amount of time, but those behind the scenes are trying to jam so much social commentary that it all seems forced. Inarritu is trying to weigh the audience down with the tragedies that occur in the third world, but because he is trying to say too much, it's tough to hear any of his message.
 
The messenger and mouthpiece of all this tragedy helps to grab the audience and keep them engaged while everything else around the story seems overwhelming. Javier Bardem is in his comfort zone when tragic conditions look to envelop his character. The look in his eyes can tell you everything you need to know about him. He is not evil, although involved in some underhanded schemes to make money, you never question the morality of the character, although you probably should. He does all he can to do right by the people around him and still tragedy and suffering follow him wherever he goes. Bardem owns the role and carries the film on his shoulders. His character is heart wrenchingly devastating, and draws you into the story even when it seems to be trying too hard.
 
The scenes with his children as he prepares them for his departure may be the most touching moments. He does all he can to create lasting memories so that he will be remembered unlike his own father who he is quick to dig up and make a quick buck off of. But instead some of those scenes seem to just get lost in the clutter of the story. Inarritu has a tendency to overload his story with movies likeBabel coming to mind.
 
Really the tragedy of the film is that it does not achieve its desired effect. Had it not been for Bardem who shoots this movie into the academy awards it would have just been lost in the other art house films that are out now. C+

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February 23, 2011
Great review
 
February 19, 2011
I liked this one, but I definitely see your point about the film. Bardem did very well though. Thanks for the great review!
 
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More Biutiful reviews
review by . January 30, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
A Marathon of Despair, Self-Loathing And Remorse Of A Dying Man...
Films that depict a bleak, real and depressing story have always held an attraction to me. Not exactly sure as to why, but it seems like I may not be the only one since director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s second feature film after “Babel” and his first Spanish language directed film since Amores Perros has been nominated in the Best Foreign Language film category in 2011’s Academy awards. “Biutiful” is a film about a man who is dying from cancer and has only …
review by . June 07, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
***1/2 out of ****     "Biutiful", the new film from Spanish director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, plays out as some kind of test. A test of patience, a test of morality, or be it a test of our ability to perceive a film; "Biutiful" never stops testing in its decently lengthy running time. It's as ambitious and bold as any other Inarritu feature, and about as good as one too. Inarritu has made one of his best films yet with "Biutiful", which is as dreary as modern movies get.   &n …
review by . January 29, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         In spite of the cumbersome details, Alejandro González Iñárritu's Biutiful is essentially the story of a man who must put his affairs in order before he dies. His name is Uxbal (Oscar nominee Javier Bardem), and he has been diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer, presumably of the prostate. He's a Barcelona career criminal, acting as an intermediary between the underworld and a sweatshop that produces phony designer handbags …
Quick Tip by . February 13, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
In case anyone wanted a little more insight into how the film was made, here is a link to my interview with Biutiful's beautiful star, Javier Bardem ... http://blacksheepreviews.blogspot.com/2011/0...iews-javier-bardem.html
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About this movie

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  • Opened January 28, 2011 | Runtime:2 hr. 27 min.
  • R
    For disturbing images, language, some sexual content, nudity and drug use
  • A man tries to reconcile his desire to be good with his lawless ways in this dark drama from Mexican auteur Alejandro González Iñárritu. Uxbal (Javier Bardem) is a man with a bright side and a dark side. Uxbal is a caring father but Uxbal is also a criminal who oversees a small underground empire alongside fellow crime boss Hai (Taisheng Cheng) and Uxbal's impulsive brother, Tito (Eduard Fernández). Uxbal's dealings range from drugs to construction, but unlike his partners in crime, he tries to treat those around him with dignity even as he trades in human misery. Uxbal's precarious world begins to collapse when he's diagnosed with a serious illness and told he has only a few weeks left to live; he tries to put his affairs in order in the time he has left, but realizes that few around him have any sense of responsibility.
  • Cast: Javier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez, Eduard Fernández, Diarytou Daff, Cheng Taishen
  • Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
  • Genres: Psychological DramaDramaFamily Drama
  • Poster art for "Biutiful."
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