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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Frida » User review

'Lovely to look at, empty to hold'

  • Jun 12, 2003
  • by
Rating:
+3
FRIDA has all the ingredients of a spectacular film - magnificent color, innovative visual effects and directorial decisions by Julie Taymor, "names" of some big stars in the business, a powerfuly evocative musical score, and grand swatch of Mexican history as seen through the eyes of the Communists in the first part of the last century. Alfred Molina takes center stage in this FRIDA as a thoroughly well-realized Diego Rivera, and while Salma Hayek has good moments she is restricted by a script which is corny and hackneyed. The "big names" include Antonio Banderas, Ashley Judd, Geoffrey Rush and Edward Norton - each given literally a few minutes of screen time. They are good, but the parts (aside from Rush's Trotsky) are so minimal that they could have easily been played by novices. The beauties of this film are in the visual effects - Frida Kahlo's paintings 'coming alive' or reconstructing from life experiences. And there are moments that are lushly beautiful and touching (the dance between Hayek and Judd for example). But overall there is a lack of the spirit of Frida Kahlo - a woman unique among artists. Hayek tries hard, but opts for the beautiful Salma more than the pathetically pained Frida. The Disc of featurettes is worth your time. AND Julie Taymor is definitely a talent to contend with!

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More Frida reviews
review by . March 22, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Salma Hyak looks amazingly like the actual Frida Kahlo in this wonderful testiment to one of the most misunderstood and fascinating personalities of the 20th century! Frida was the victim of a bus accident that nearly crippled her and left her in agony throughout her life. As a result, Frida saw the dark side of life and painted some of the most amazing abstract works of art that I have ever seen.      Frida formed a bond with the famous political painter, Diego Rivera. The two …
review by . March 02, 2006
As Frida, Hayek literally carries the film. Tender and vulnerable one moment, she can become fiery and self-confident the next. Hayak also captures much of the excruciating physical torment that Frida was forced to endure during her lifetime - and which often became the central subject of much of her art. Alfred Molina makes of Rivera a fascinatingly understated figure. His seeming world-weariness camouflages a tenderness and ability to love deeply, which, apparently, few in his life - apart from …
review by . January 27, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
Salma Hyak looks amazingly like the actual Frida Kahlo in this wonderful testiment to one of the most misunderstood and fascinating personalities of the 20th century! Frida was the victim of a bus accident that nearly crippled her and left her in agony throughout her life. As a result, Frida saw the dark side of life and painted some of the most amazing abstract works of art that I have ever seen.    Frida formed a bond with the famous political painter, Diego Rivera. The two …
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Ranked #97
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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Wiki

Salma Hayek makes up for many bad movies with her fierce performance in this sumptuous film. Hayek plays the Mexican surrealist painter Frida Kahlo, whose tempestuous life with her unfaithful husband, muralist Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina), drives the story ofFrida. Maverick director Julie Taymor (Titus, the Broadway stage production ofThe Lion King) pulls out a wealth of gorgeous visuals to capture everything from the horrific bus accident that damaged Kahlo's spine to her and Rivera's trip to New York City, where Rivera's political leanings ruptured a commission from the Rockefeller family. Though the script spends too much time telling us how great Frida's painting is (rather than trusting in the power of the images themselves), Taymor's dynamic energy and Kahlo's forceful personality giveFridagenuine emotional impact. The superb cast includes Roger Rees, Valeria Golino, Ashley Judd, Geoffrey Rush, Antonio Banderas, and Edward Norton.--Bret Fetzer
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Details

Genre: Drama, Romance
Release Date: January 1, 1984, October 25, 2002
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Rodrigo García
Runtime: 1hr 48min, 2hrs 3min
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