The Beauty (and the Bitter) of Biutiful!!!

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, Biutiful 2010Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Armando BoAlejandro González IñárrituJavier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez Bitter,Bitterometer,meter Biutiful(2010)
 

Alejandro González Iñárritu, along with Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón, are the trio of Mexican directors that brought euphoria to Latin American cinema in the 2000’s, gathering multiple accolades as well as box office success. Iñárritu, who broke into the industry with the gut-wrenching “Amores Perros,” is the most melancholic of the three, a celluloid mediator who captures the pain that connects us, despite our differences. An actor’s director, Iñárritu has usually gotten the best not only from his stars (Benicio Del Toro, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, etc) but also from supporting actors (Adriana Barraza, Rinko Kikuchi) as well as non-professional players. His latest, the intentionally misspelled title “Biutiful,” follows the acclaimed director’s intriguing mixture of top talent and unknowns to assist on his rough but earnest depiction of the human landscape.

“Biutiful” is the story of Uxbal (Javier Bardem), a man who deals in the illegal business of undocumented immigrant labor. However, while his occupation is murky, his intentions for the mostly Senegalese and Chinese foreigners are noble. Uxbal, who raises his two children without the presence of his estranged wife Marambra (Maricel Álvarez)lives day by day with the struggles of poverty, unlawfulness, betrayal and parenting.

However, tragedy hits Uxbal when he gets diagnosed with terminal cancer, and finds out that he only has months to live. The dying man, battling to accept his doom, is challenged to leave his children in caring hands as he seeks resolution in his inevitable demise. Uxbal, who is a séance, finds his gift as a portal to the world of the living and the next one he will soon join. Javier Bardem, who plays Uxbal’s emotions close to his sleeve, forces you to pay attention to the intricacies of the complex man.

“Biutiful” is an unsetting, and even scary, vision of mortality. Barcelona, where the movie takes place, is an urban purgatory where the basements and meager apartments pay testament to its wounded tenants. Also, when Uxbal receives the messages of the departed, their souls appear on the ceilings and walls, almost like a distorted Sistine chapel. Iñárritu delves into the grime of the Spaniard city to seek out both the the fragments of darkness and light that can guide Uxbal’s journey to redemption.

Iñárritu, who sticks to his trademark handheld camera style, can make it uncomfortable for some audiences that might be overwhelmed by “Biutiful’s” depressive themes and lengthy running time. The film is not a moving tear jerker, but a stern study of parental legacy and the solemn acceptance of closure. But for those who enjoy true artistry, “Biutiful” will be distressfully beautiful.

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Biutiful2010Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Armando BoAlejandro González IñárrituJavier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez  Biutiful2010Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Armando BoAlejandro González IñárrituJavier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez  Biutiful2010Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Armando BoAlejandro González IñárrituJavier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez  Biutiful2010Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Armando BoAlejandro González IñárrituJavier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez  Biutiful2010Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Armando BoAlejandro González IñárrituJavier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez 

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