Friday, February 25, 2011

Movie Review: Biutiful

Actor in a Leading Role - Javier Bardem

According to the Academy: "A performance by an actor or actress in any role shall be eligible for nomination either for the leading role or supporting role categories. If, however, all the dialog has been dubbed by another actor, the performance shall not be eligible for award consideration. Singing that is dubbed will not affect the performer's eligibility unless it constitutes the entire performance. The dermination as to whether a role is a leading or supporting role shall be made individually by members of the branch at the time of balloting."

Movie Review:
First, this movie is a Spanish (as in Spain) submission. Majority of the movie is in Spanish and is subtitled. LIke usual, I find that this makes it difficult for me to follow the film. So many things are lost when you aren't familiar with tones of voice, can't hear accents and other subtlties that occur in language. That being said, having grown up in Texas and therefore hearing a lot of Spanish and taking Spanish in school, I am more familiar with what I was hearing and that went a long way in me following this movie better. (I caught much more than I did in I Am Love. Biutiful follows Uxbal, a father of 2, who can communicate with the dead, and he is a professional criminal dealing drugs and illegal workers. He is raising his kids because his wife is unstable and an alcoholic. He is trying to raise his children well. He learns he has a serious illness and won't be living more than a short time and we watch him try to start putting his affairs in order. He is an interesting character while he deals with people who work in sweatshop conditions, he still tries to treat them humanely despite what others around him try to do. I give the story a B+. I think it would have been better if I was fluent in Spanish.

Actor in a Leading Role Review:
Javier Bardem plays Uxbal. Uxbal is a character who juxtaposes himself. While he cares about humanely treating people, he still works them in sweatshops and trades in their misery. He deals drugs but at the same time has two kids who he is affectionate too who he is trying to raise. He cares, but at the same time, he does things that aren't caring. To play Uxbal,, Javier Bardem had to play someone who was torn within himself. Someone who was his own ying and his own yang. I don't remember what I thought of Javier Bardem's perfomance when I left the Theaters at Canal Place over a week ago. I've seen too many movies since then and I was slightly exhausted when I left (we had seen the shorts - animated and live action - immediately preceding this and after work.) But, looking back, Bardem did a great job. Even now, with so much between my viewing of the movie and this review I can remember how torn the character was as he went through the end of his life. I give his performance an A. To make an impression like that, I figure he did a pretty good job.

Like usual, this photo is from

1 comment:

Senor B. said...

What wouldn't be better if you were fluent in Spanish? Just think about what a trip to Taco Bell would be! Hola, senor bueno! Yo quiero dos tacos, por favor!

I agree that Bardem did a good job. This movie seemed very realistic, and Bardem's character seemed like a real person. I mean, no one really thinks that they're a bad person - whether it be a drug dealer, murderer, et al, those people just rationalize their flaws away like everyone else. So, I think Bardem's acting was great in that he seemed like a real person, not a guy playing a real person.

I'm very happy for Colin Firth and his Oscar win, but I'm not sure that his George VI was better than Bardem's Uxbol (or Uxbal, I can't read your font too well).

The bottom line, for me, is that Bardem was good and so was Biutiful.

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