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Beatriz at Dinner


'Beatriz at Dinner' (2017)


Director Miguel Arteta has given us a take on modern America here. There's plenty of them about, but this one is a pretty brutal portrayal of the helplessness and frustration felt by so many at this point in time. I'm not sure I've seen Salma Hayek give a performance like this before. At times, her personality in this film is so secluded it's almost creepy. I would guess that is what the film-makers are going for to convey this sense of futile anger that so many of us feel on an almost daily basis.

The premise of the movie isn't original - poor foreign born woman rallies against entitled white folk. But the way in which it unfolds outside of the first 5 minutes and the last 5 minutes, in a chamber piece style tone is very, very well done.

The message of uncertainty at the film's conclusion is actually quite terrifying. And the movie will probably split audiences on account of there being very few payoffs. But it's a hugely gripping journey while it lasts, and Hayek is ably supported by John Lithgow and Connie Britton who take turns in seeing who can be the vilest character on screen. There are cliches involved when it comes to getting us to this point, but I'm unsure how the writers would have made us hate these characters this much if they weren't included. There's an undercurrent of resentment and animosity in this film, understandably. Whether it is justified will be a matter of hindsight I expect.

I'd probably give this a 7.8 out of 10. But 4 popcorns out of 5 will suffice.