Biutiful

(2010)

Genres: Drama

Review: Biutiful

Transcript for Review: Biutiful

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY:
Our next film, BIUTIFUL, is the latest movie by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.  Javier Bardem, wearing a goatee and a shaggy haircut, plays Uxball, a Barcelona crook who seems to have a hand in every kind of racket imaginable.  A shifty sullen character who is, more often than not, seen holding a thick wad of grubby Euros. He has also been recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.

CLIP

IGNATIY:
Uxball has two children whom he is trying to raise without the help of their bipolar mother.

CLIP

IGNATIY:
As he struggles with his own problems, he must also face the mounting troubles of the illicit ventures he's involved with.  With its pretensions of grit and profundity BIUTIFUL is a classic example of a film that sees itself as much more meaningful than it really is.  Bardem is committed to his intensely brooding performance, the camerawork is often striking, but that's about it.  BIUTIFUL is mushy and self-important and the subplots Inarritu adds to it only dilute the film further, while also pushing it's running time to a watery two and a half hours.

CHRISTY LEMIRE:
Yeah this is way too long.  We're going to agree again.

IGNATIY:
We’re going to agree again.

CHRISTY:
We are. Inarritu is making the same movie over and over again.

IGNATIY:
He's such a director so world renowned for his talent that he has never actually bothered to make a good movie.

CHRISTY:
AMORES PERROS was good.

IGNATIY:
I disagree. I disagree.

CHRISTY:
But where his previous films babble – all his previous films were all jumping around in time and space, this is linear –

IGNATIY:
This is a relatively straightforward plot.

CHRISTY:
-- this is linear, and yet, it feels like the exact same movie.

IGNATIY:
That’s very true.

CHRISTY:
It's a total drag.  There's supposed to be hope coming out of it, but it's just so mawkish, and just you can't connect at all.

IGNATIY:
I think that all of his films are kind of mawkish.

CHRISTY:
I liked AMORES PERROS.

IGNATIY: 
I, I, I don’t.

CHRISTY: 
With the dog.  Are you not a dog person? You can't deal with the dogs.

IGNATIY:
I like dogs. I like dogs; I just don't like his films.

CHRISTY:
I like Javier Bardem in this.  He does have an arc.  He sort of has everything working at once.

IGNATIY:
A very good performance, but at the same time the performance is almost submerged in the movie. I kind of feel about it the same way I feel about James Franco in 127 HOURS.

CHRISTY:
That's a whole other discussion for another time.

IGNATIY:
It's a good performance but barely there because there are all of these other things piled on top of it.

CHRISTY:
He evolves.  There's no great epiphany, which I'm okay with.  I do like that.  You mentioned the cinematography.  Rodrigo Prieto -- 

IGNATIY:
He does a good job. Some really beautiful use of wide angle lenses.

CHRISTY:
And you can, like, touch the squalor.  It's very vivid, but enough after a while.

IGNATIY:
It’s such an aestheticised squalor.  I mean, those Chinese sweat shops are so lovingly production-designed.