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I live on the ocean, write women's fiction, love to read so much that it's an addiction rather than a hobby (I read an average of a book a day). I live on the wet west coast so it's a good thing that I like to walk in the rain.

Monday, May 09, 2011


And yes, I've spelled that correctly.

I went to one of my favourite theatres last night - it's an old-fashioned huge theatre down on Denman Street. You go down a bunch of stairs, end up in a big white space with a popcorn machine, and then into the theatre. It's as big as a skating rink, sloping down to the screen. Big, tall comfortable red chairs. And not - at least last night for this movie at 6:45 - a lot of people.

I'll tell you right up front that Javier Bardem is one my my favourite actors and also one of the sexiest man on the planet in my opinion.

But this movie?

I totally see why Bardem got nominated for a best actor award and I see why he didn't win it. It's definitely not the kind of movie the Academy likes. It's sad, though that's the smallest part of it. It's depressing, full of people who have nothing who mostly are taking advantage of others even less fortunate than they are. They're doing their best to support their families and they're making bad choices.

It's beautifully shot - showing exactly the opposite view of Barcelona as Woody Allen's Vicky Christina Barcelona - which also starred Bardem. This movie showed the sunny side of the city and of its people. Oh, they were flawed, badly, but they had the money to make their lives easy and could spend their time worrying about their flaws.

Biutiful is dark and gloomy. The rooms are small and dirty - at one point I felt as if the movie would give me bedbugs. The people are poorly dressed, in dark colors, they're thin and hungry and desperate. Vicky Christina Barcelona is shot in light - brilliant colors, expensive houses and clothes and the sun is always shining.

In Biutiful, money was in short supply and so when things went wrong - and everything went wrong in this movie - people did things they wouldn't normally do to keep their lives, their families - not exactly safe - but secure.

Of course, even Dickens would tell you that working on the wrong side of the law may lead to a whole lot of money in the short term but you will always be punished for it in the long run.

For me, though I love Bardem and the movie is amazing, I didn't love it. I suspect I wasn't meant to. But the movie felt like a soap opera in a way. One thing went wrong, and then another, and then another - as if one terrible thing wasn't enough, as if everything, every possible thing, had to fall apart around Bardem's character.

There is a very slight moment of light at the end but for me, personally, I wanted less complication and more focus. That's definitely a personal thing and I would suggest that you see this movie. It really is worth watching and Bardem blew me away.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is one FINEEEEE...man.