Beatriz at Dinner (2017)

Beatriz at Dinner Movie Review

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Beatriz at Dinner Movie Review

Beatriz at Dinner is a 2017 indie drama film directed by Miguel Arteta and starring Salma Hayek and John Lithgow. It is one of the best indies of the year.

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All tears flow from the same source

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Beatriz at Dinner Movie Review

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I love movies that are self-contained in time and place and that are simplistic, but deep in themes. Beatriz at Dinner is that movie. We follow a Mexican woman who winds up at a dinner organized by her boss. There she gets into an argument with a cold businessman and is just so different from each person there.

I thoroughly empathized with her and she is such a relatable person to me and a wonderful soul. Certainly I am not as great of a person a she is, but I also have trouble accepting the death of animals which most do easily. I am also a highly emotional person and I do think that most people in this world are cold, selfish and just bad human beings and thus her troubles felt all the more real for me.

The movie showcases brutally how a great, emotional person cannot really live in this world and cannot cope with so much pain and sadness surrounding them. And in that manner it is one of the most brutally dark and unfortunately realistic films that I have ever seen. For some it may be too pessimistic, especially that dark ending, but to me this is real as I feel like her too and the ending was deep to me and very satisfactory.

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Beatriz at Dinner Movie Review

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The only problem Beatriz at Dinner has is that it is just way too heavy-handed at times and overly simplistic and black-and-white in the portrayal of Beatriz and especially Doug. Beatriz at least has her dark urge near the end, but Doug is overly villainous which was a problem.

But I still really liked these characters. I liked all of the others as they had minor roles, but they did make an impact and were all very realistic. Its cringe comedy elements fully worked and the awkward dinner felt painful but necessary to sit through. This is how people talk and especially rich people. I found the movie’s willingness to attack businessmen, small talk and Americans highly refreshing. Loved it.

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Beatriz at Dinner Movie Review

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The actors and actresses all did a great job, but of course the highlights are John Lithgow and Salma Hayek. He proved how great of an actor he is and how brutally underrated too. He is an indie darling and here he portrayed one of his darkest characters. His subtle facial expressions, especially of smugness and disbelief, were amazingly grounded in reality and just phenomenal.

But Salma Hayek is even better. Here she gave one of the year’s very best female performances in such an amazing, career defining role. Her facial expressions also drive her performance as anger, shyness and especially pain are very much felt in her every scene. Amazing work that should be honored.

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Beatriz at Dinner Movie Review

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Beatriz at Dinner is the definition of a phenomenal indie drama. The themes are rich, the film is deep how smart and especially emotional it is. Sometimes the pain is overwhelming and the ending is definitely heartfelt. The dialogue is mostly fantastic and only the film’s sometimes bombastic instead of subtle approach felt subpar. And of course I loved the score and especially editing as the film is deftly, brilliantly edited and structured into a coherent, tight whole. It is a seventy minute long movie and it did not need any more minutes. It is perfect this way and it is a shame that most filmmakers do not realize this.

Beatriz at Dinner is an amazing indie drama. Sometimes the themes are heavy-handed, but for the most part the dialogue is clever, the film is deep in themes and especially in emotion as it is heartfelt and overwhelming to witness. John Lithgow is absolutely phenomenal as he always is and Salma Hayek gave one of the year’s finest performances in a tour de force performance. This movie is tightly edited, darkly humorous, brutally realistic and very relatable to me personally leading to one of the best films of 2017.

My Rating – 4.5

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Posted in 2010s, 2017, Drama, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS and tagged , , , , , , .

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