Excerpt: Are you a glass half empty or a glass half full kind of person? Well you're wrong. As, director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ("Babel," "21 Grams") likes to tell us over and over, there is no glass at all. His bleak view of the world, where the best we can hope for is a tiny glimmer of hope and life as if from a distant star that you can only see on a clear night, reaches its apotheosis in "Biutiful.
Conclusion: If you can handle watching two and a half hours of unrelenting depression and an emotionally draining ending, then I would recommend this film. The performances are incredible and despite Uxbal’s many character flaws, you still end up hoping against hope that everything will work out okay. The film is filled many small moments of a reality that feels true and honest which only adds to the viewer’s inner turmoil.
Excerpt: Biutiful is the fourth film from acclaimed film director Alejandro González Iñárritu, preceded by Amores Perros , 21 Grams , and Babel . This one is not going to change anybody's mind who criticizes the director for being obsessed with grim and depressing subject matter that dwells on the dark side of humanity. Despite staying true to hopeless form, the film marks the return to his native Spanish language for Iñárritu.
Conclusion: Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'Biutiful' is a bleak and somber journey through the otherwise beautiful and energetic streets of Barcelona. The plot is emotionally dense and grave, which can become rather cumbersome after a while. But with Iñárritu's brilliant direction and Javier Bardem's powerful performance, the film still makes for an impressive and engaging watch.
Summary: Biutiful made history this year when it became the first ever film to snag a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for a performance delivered entirely in Spanish. This bleak, dour and relentlessly depressing film is undoubtedly a tour de force for star Javier Bardem, but at almost two and a half hours, this is a film that simply never lets up emotionally and may simply prove to be too exhausting a trial for many audience members to endure.
Excerpt: The vast majority of us spend our lives trying to be good people. We try and do right by our friends, our family and even ourselves. If we have the means we even try and help strangers. The truth is, however, that we simply don’t have much control. We’re often betrayed by the ones we love and trust. It’s an eternal struggle and one that Alejandro González Iñárritu captures brilliantly in Biutiful . At the center of it all is Uxbal, played by Javier Bardem.
Excerpt: When it was announced that director Alejandro González Iñárritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga were ending their collaboration after three films, the timing felt right for a break-up. By the time 21 Grams led to Babel , the gut-punching realism and puzzle construction that seemed so fresh with Amores Perros had devolved into miserablist formula.
Summary: Unwatchable without Javier Bardem’s affecting, devastatingly committed performance, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful – his first film minus regular writing partner Guillermo Arriaga – plunges the viewer into a shapeless, sprawling character study that functions as nothing less than a punishing reminder of how rotten the universe can be.
Conclusion: Iñárritu has made a modern classical tragedy and, in Javier Bardem, he has found his first authentic hero; a character caught up in an intricate web of events he cannot extricate himself from.