Sunday, May 8, 2011

Biutiful (2010)

Biutiful (2010)
Biutiful (2010)

Genre: Drama
Director:  Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring:  Javier Bardem, Marciel Álvarez, Hanaa Bouchaib, Guillermo Estrella
Duration: 148 min.
Rating: 7.6/10

The journey of Uxbal, a conflicted man who struggles to reconcile fatherhood, love, spirituality, crime, guilt and mortality amidst the dangerous underworld of modern Barcelona.


Biutiful directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, where Javier Bardem was awarded best actor for his incredible performance.  It was also nominated for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actor at the 83rd Academy Awards. 

To put it simply, this is a grim and depressing tale of a man diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer and tries to settle his affairs with the short time he has left.  The story is bleak and the visuals are gritty and grainy but the acting is what makes this film beautiful.  Bardem delivers an absolutely astonishing performance as Uxbal, a complex character who is part criminal working with illegal immigrant black market workers, psychic who can talk to the recently deceased, and single father of a young son and daughter.

Interestingly, there are two cinematography style changes towards the end of the film.  First there is a switch from spherical to anamorphic lenses which occurs at a crucial point in the story serving to isolate Uxbal from the rest of the frame.  Then a short time later the aspect ratio widens from 1.85:1 to 2.40:1 for the last half hour as Uxbal's character himself opens up accepting his fate.

Overall, Biutiful is a very technically well crafted film with a masterful acting performance, but a script that lacks focus and a story not nearly as compelling as the acting deserved.

Biutiful (2010)

Biutiful (2010)

Biutiful (2010)

Biutiful (2010)

Biutiful (2010)

Biutiful (2010)

Biutiful (2010)
Biutiful (2010)

Biutiful (2010)

Biutiful (2010)


Lesya said...

Thanks for the reminder. I really need to see it. Besides, now, after your review, I'm interested in those technical details.

Guy Movie Blogger said...

Bardem was fantastic in this, but this was such a depressing movie. I can't remember another movie that left me feeling so down! I guess it's a sign of how powerful the story is.

The Angry Lurker said...

Bardem is a talent.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

The version I saw had hard coded subtitles and they were good.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Messy is a good description.  It really didn't need the aimless subplots with the Chinese businessmen, or the relationship between his wife and his brother.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

 No problem, thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Amir Soltani said...

interesting how you brought up the aspect ratio change. it was a nice touch in the film, but Prieto and Bardem's work aside, i did NOT love this movie.
i had high hopes for it going in because even when Inarritu gets lukewarm reviews, i still seem to enjoy his work (like BABEL) but this one was just so messy. he couldn't make up his mind about what he wanted to say and focus on and i could never really get into it because of that.

Amir said...

p.s. it was my first time commenting on this blogger theme so for some reason it took my full name, but this was Amir from amiresque.

Hermann Rorschach said...

"part criminal working with illegal immigrant black market workers,
psychic who can talk to the recently deceased, and single father of a
young son and daughter"

My lord. Intense. I hope I can find good subtitles.

Adalmin said...

Love how shot #8 is composed.

The Reel Foto said...

i'm not sure i want another depressing film, but thanks for the recommendation.

Pooyan Rj said...

Hi may I use these photos on my mubi profile?

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Sure go ahead.

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