Written and directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
Review by Seth Rogovoy
New York Times film critic A.O. Scott handily summarized the Oscar-nominated film Biutiful thusly: “a feel-bad art film with an uplifting message for everyone.” Writer/director Alejandro González Iñárritu wisely puts most of his eggs in the basket of Javier Bardem, also nominated for his leading role as a dying criminal with a conscience and a heart of gold, and thus wins a viewer over in this depressing, morbid tale of redemption in a world (the underworld of Barcelona) seemingly without either. It may defy logic or belief – indeed, the film ventures into magical realism at a few points, as Bardem is given powers to communicate with the dead – but Biutiful is indeed formally artful, relentlessly bleak, and tragically beautiful.
Seth Rogovoy is Berkshire Living’s award-winning editor-in-chief and cultural critic.
Running at the Triplex in Great Barrington, Mass.
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