Posts Tagged ‘Javier Bardem’

In a nutshell: a peek into the abyss – don’t stand too close to the edge when you’re reaching for your peanuts.

Popcorn rating: 4/5

Like De Niro in his heyday, and more recently Christian Bale, Javier Bardem is an actor prepared to suffer for his art: in No Country For Old Men he sported an outrageously bad pudding-basin haircut and in Biutiful he’s got the kind of mullet Jason Donovan would have died for (and which probably still haunts his dreams). He even gets to wear it in a ponytail. But for Bardem’s character in Biutiful the suffering doesn’t end there.

The film’s narrative is more or less a descent into hell for Uxbal, the middle-aged hustler played by Bardem. Set in a Barcelona that is far from the sophisticated European destination of the average mini-break, it’s a stark depiction of an illegal immigrant underclass, for which Uxbal brokers various forms of employment, and of one man’s life spiralling out of control even as it begins to end. Early on Uxbal is diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer (cue grim scenes of bloody urine and incontinence) and the film documents his decline as he attempts to shore up his children’s security and deal with the lingering aftermath of his failed marriage while staging scenes of mounting dissipation and, ultimately, tragedy.

Written and directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, Biutiful is a combination of fragmentary narrative and dirty realism, with a spiritual thread running through it. There’s no easy redemption on offer here though, and the film is emotionally draining but oddly rewarding. Not perhaps the best Sunday evening in – it left me with a nagging, school-on-Monday sense of melancholia – but raw and watchable all the same.

Reviewer: TomRidge

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Eat, Pray, Love

Posted: December 11, 2010 by curlyshirley in Film
Tags: , , , ,

In a nutshell: Self obsessed American bird whines her way around the world in a self indulgent love fest. Then falls down a mine (sorry, no, not really, but we can hope).

Popcorn rating: 0.25/5

Eat, Pray, Love is one of those heinous chick flicks which Hollywood pumps out in its annual bid to mortally offend the whole of womenkind (SATC1 AND 2, most anything with Katherine Heigl in, I mean you).

The plot is simple. Julia Roberts’ wealthy writer Elizabeth is unhappy with her superficial life of wealth, beautiful friends and success so decides to head off to “find herself” in the cultural poverty of Italy, India and Bali. Women who have been fighting for equality and freedom across the globe die a slow and painful death.

Eat – In Italy Roberts immediately befriends other independently wealthy, beautiful people and they gather regularly to eat everything on their plate (really, they don’t leave a crumb – the horror, horror!) and tell each other how wonderful they are. But this is Italy mind, not America, so she has to slum it in a Bohemian style flat in the middle of the city complete with a huge balcony, rather than a real palace.

Pray – Feeling like she hasn’t loved herself enough with all that food, Roberts imposes upon the kindness of an Ashram in India where she successfully manages to turn someone else’s sadness into another of her many issues.

Love – In Bali Roberts befriends a medicine man who, in the sole highlight of the film, can’t actually remember inviting her back (as she suggests) when she first visited him. This is merely a clever ploy to drive her away methinks but, damnation, it fails. Julia is very sweet of course (can’t hate Julia), she has a big toothy, private dentist smile which everyone loves and she doesn’t even mention medicine man’s bad teeth…though she does ruin a few precious texts he has asked her to copy for him.

Then, what fortune, Roberts is run over by sexy, husky Brazilian Javier Bardem. Unfortunately, she lives, gets drunk, is stalked by Bardem and is generally loved by all and sundry. She is still unhappy but eventually, after much stalking and intense stares, she realises she does love Bardem because he is just as ridiculous as she is. Truly, they deserve each other.

Even writing about the smelly pile of used pants which is Eat, Pray, Love enrages me so, if you will excuse me, I would like to find some cultural stereotypes to befriend while wittering endlessly on in a pseudo soothing voice. What else does a gal need?

PS – The 0.25 is because the film looks purdy. I originally had it scored as 0.5. But that was too much.

Reviewer: Curlyshirley