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Good performances can’t save Beatriz At Dinner, a heavy-handed and poorly-written look at the war between the haves and have-nots. Beatriz (Salma Hayek) is a holistic healer and masseuse from Mexico who maneuvers L.A. traffic in her run-down Vw as she hurries from her job at a cancer facility to the gated mansion of Cathy (Connie Britton). The wealthy woman considers Beatrix a ‘family friend’ since she helped her daughter through a recent illness. Cathy needs a massage before the important dinner party she’s hosting that night for some of her husband Grant’s (David Warshofsky) business associates. When Beatriz can’t get her car started in the driveway, Cathy impulsively invites her to spend the night and join the dinner. Once the guests arrive, things get uncomfortable. First to show up are Alex (Jay Duplass) and Shannon (Chloe Sevigny), young social-climbers impressed by Cathy and Grant’s upscale lifestyle. But things get truly awkward when Grant’s boss Doug Strutt (John Lithgow), an unscrupulous real-estate developer and his wife Jenna (Amy Landecker) arrive. Strutt and Beatriz, who he initially confuses for the wait staff, couldn’t be less alike. Where she is a bohemian spirit with deep connection to all living beings, he is larger-than-life, cunning and focused on success. While she’s grieving over a pet goat recently murdered by a neighbor, he’s bragging about the endangered birds he wants removed from the land earmarked for his latest development (subtlety’s not a strong point here). As they dine, Beatriz listens in on the conversations of these people whose views on politics and profit are so foreign to her. They in turn either humor or ignore her. The fireworks begin after Beatriz, fortified by a few glasses of wine, begins to speak her mind.
Beatriz At Dinner is especially disappointing as it comes from writer Mike White and director Miguel Arteta, the team behind the brilliant 2000 black comedy Chuck & Buck, a squirmy film I often quote (“I didn’t say to act like a retarded kid”). Their new film’s biggest problem is that the script is shallow and lacks subtlety. These characters are caricatures, painted with a broad brush, which might be fine if this was satire but it’s all played so dead serious. Pure-hearted Beatriz may as well have a halo around her head while Strutt is simply a boorish, bigoted jerk lacking any nuance and his behavior just doesn’t ring true. Successful men don’t say “You’re from Mexico? Legally?”, when meeting a Latino woman (they may think it), and just when you think Strutt can’t be anymore exaggerated, the screenplay kicks his douchebaggery up a notch. Strutt is a big game hunter (because of course he is), who whips out his phone and passes it around to show everyone the photo of him standing triumphantly over the enormous dead rhino he’s bagged. By this point Beatriz has already been established as the sensitive Earth-mother type, so to hand her the phone to take a look at Strutt’s kill makes even less sense than an earlier scene where the clueless wives assume she wants to look at a pic of some celebrities’ herpes-infested genitals.
While the characters may be sterotypes and the message ham-handed, the actors are all good. Lithgow is terrific, but I wish they’d thought outside the box in terms of casting Strutt. He just played a variation of this guy in The Accountant and it’s the type of part Lithgow can play in his sleep. Though just 85 minutes, Beatriz At Dinner still seems padded, mostly with long stretches of Beatriz gazing into the camera, make-up free, her brow furrowed in soulful contemplation. At one point Cathy claims Beatriz is like a Saint and that birds probably fly down and land on her shoulders like Snow White. That would have been a better fantasy/dream sequence that the ill-advised one we’re given involving murderous wish-fulfillment that cheapens the actual, tragic finale. Having these two skilled actors go head-to -head does make Beatriz At Dinner easier to digest, but I still can’t recommend it.
2 of 5 Stars
Beatriz At Dinner opens in St. Louis June 23rd at The fabulous Hi-Pointe Theater and Landmark’s Plaza Frontenac Theater
The post Beatriz At Dinner – Review appeared first on We Are Movie Geeks. »
- Tom Stockman
John Lithgow is a devilish delight in the black comedy Beatriz at Dinner. Directed by Miguel Arteta (The Good Girl) and written by Mike White (Orange County, School of Rock), Beatriz at Dinner is a satire about class differences. Beatriz (Salma Hayak) is a Mexican immigrant that works as a massage therapist at a healing center. She is a Buddhist, extremely spiritual, with a deep respect for all living things. Her car breaks down at the mansion of a wealthy client (Connie Britton) and her husband. Beatriz is invited to stay for dinner instead of calling a tow truck.
The dinner is a victory lap for a billionaire real estate developer, Doug Strutt (John Lithgow). Strutt is an obnoxious tycoon with a lot of media publicity. He at first mistakes Beatriz for a maid, then proceeds to ask if she is in the country illegally. Beatriz starts drinking and gets »
Salma Hayek gives the performance of her career in this stealth weapon of a comedy from director Miguel Arteta and screenwriter Mike White, one that takes aim at the divided and divisive world we live in. Don't say you haven't noticed. The star, bringing down the glam but radiating grit and grace, plays Beatriz, a Los Angeles massage therapist and holistic healer. Her life revolves around her patients and the animals, mostly dogs and goats, she lives with in Altadina and treats like her children. Beatriz is an earth mother, »
"She was invited, but she was not welcome." That's a creative tagline. Roadside Attractions has debuted a second trailer for the rebellious indie comedy Beatriz at Dinner, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. The first trailer is longer and sets up more of the story, but this one is still just as feisty even at only 60 seconds. Salma Hayek stars as a woman from a small town in Mexico now working as a health practitioner in Los Angeles, who accompanies a friend to a dinner party. Hosted by a billionaire, played by John Lithgow, she goes to town and argues with them about all of their insane bullshit. The cast includes Connie Britton, Chloë Sevigny, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass and David Warshofsky. I cannot wait to see this, looks like my kind of film. I'm excited to see Hayek take on all these heartless idiots. Here's »
- Alex Billington
Beatriz At Dinner review: Miguel Arteta re-teams with screenwriter Mike White for this tale of a dinner party with an uninvited guest – an event that leads to some eye-opening consequences for all involved.
Beatriz At Dinner review
Kicking off the slate of thirteen films at this year’s now very well established UK tour of America’s famous independent film festival is this deeply absorbing drama focused upon a a dinner party at a mansion in the coastal city of Newport Beach in southern California.
Miguel Arteta‘s (Youth In Revolt) tight 84 minute feature opens to Salma Hayek‘s Beatriz, an immigrant living in the greater Los Angeles area, waking in a cramped apartment to a bleating goat and an over-excited dog, both of who are seemingly housed inside. Beatriz, an immigrant from Mexico clearly lives alone and makes an honest living from »
- Paul Heath
If you’ve fallen behind on ABC’s “Scandal,” new villain Theodore Peus (David Warshofsky) is currently trying to murder his way to the Vice Presidency, with Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and her team doing everything they can to stop him. In a new TV Line interview, Joe Morton, who won an Emmy for playing Olivia’s father Eli Pope in […] »
- Marcus James Dixon
Spoiler Alert: Do not read ahead if you have not watched “Scandal” Season 6, episode 12, which aired on Thursday, April 27.
Last week’s episode bid adieu to Elizabeth North, but this week’s wasn’t a somber funeral of any sort. “Scandal” raced ahead with more chaos at the hands of none other than Liz North’s killer, the Mystery Woman (Zoe Perry).
The Mystery Woman continued to threaten and frame just about everyone, and she confronted new president-elect Mellie (Bellamy Young) to demand that she wants the vice president spot vacated. But for who? Peus (David Warshofsky), of course.
Peus showed up at Opa to finally meet Olivia (Kerry Washington), who was in top form this episode. He told her that he wants to be vice president and she laughed in his face and kept up a tough front, but she later realized that if Jake (Scott Foley) doesn’t step down from his veep post, he »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Scandal‘s new Big Bad makes a house call on tonight’s episode (ABC, 9/8c) — and Olivia is less-than-pleased to make his acquaintance.
RelatedABC Sets Finale Dates for Grey’s, Scandal, Once, DWTS and 16 Others
In this sneak peek from the game-changing hour, the head of Opa finally comes face-to-face with Theodore Peus (played by David Warshofsky), the mastermind behind the Shadowy Organization™ that’s been attempting to seize control of the White House. Threats are made, stern glances are exchanged, and we get one last chance to say goodbye to Elizabeth North.
During a recent chat with TVLine, Scandal »
Warning: Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you have not watched Thursday’s episode of Scandal.
After Olivia (Kerry Washington) and her team got Cyrus (Jeff Perry) out of jail so he could be sworn in as the next President of the United States, Mellie (Bellamy Young) was ready to concede her defeat -- until some shady characters showed up to convince her otherwise.
The secretive group, headed by a Mystery Woman (Zoe Perry) and her boss, Peus (David Warshofsky), stepped their blackmail game up when Mellie refused to bend to their wishes, brutally bashing in Liz’s head to show the former Flotus just how serious they were about getting her in the West Wing, whether she likes it or not.
Exclusive: Kerry Washington Opens Up About Filming '[link »
The Miguel Arteta-directed and Mike White-written film (the pair previously teamed for 2000's Chuck & Buck) tackles several Trump-era issues, including racism, social inequality and immigration. The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January.
In the clip, Strutt is a pompous billionaire real estate developer while Beatriz is an immigrant from Mexico who works as a spiritual health practitioner in Los Angeles. »
Roadside Attractions has released a new trailer for the Miguel Arteta-directed upcoming drama Beatriz At Dinner, set to bow in theaters June 9. The film, which debuted at Sundance this year, has a stellar cast that includes Salma Hayek, Chloë Sevigny, John Lithgow, Connie Britton, Jay Duplass and David Warshofsky. Written by Mike White, the pic follows Beatriz (Hayek), an immigrant from a poor town in Mexico, who has drawn on her innate kindness to build a career as a… »
Hayek plays an immigrant from a poor town in Mexico who’s become a health practitioner in Los Angeles and attends a dinner party hosted by her clients — played by Connie Britton and David Warshofsky — after her car breaks down.
Lithgow’s appropriately named Doug Strutt mistakes Hayek for the help — “Can I have another bourbon, hon?” — then interrupts her repeatedly during the party. As she’s talking about coming to the U.S., Lithgow blurts out, “Did you come legally?”
Later, Lithgow is showing off photos of a rhinoceros he’s killed in Africa, insisting, “I don’t consider it murder” because it supposedly helps preservation efforts. It’s too much for Hayek, who throws her phone at him and says, »
- Dave McNary
"This can't possibly end well." Roadside Attractions has unveiled an official trailer for the rebellious indie comedy Beatriz at Dinner, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January this year. Salma Hayek stars as a woman from a small town in Mexico now working as a health practitioner in Los Angeles, who accompanies a friend to a dinner party. Hosted by a billionaire, played by John Lithgow, she goes to town and argues with them about all of their insane bullshit. The cast includes Connie Britton, Chloë Sevigny, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass and David Warshofsky. This looks kind of amazing. I'm a bit sad I didn't see this at Sundance, I'm particularly excited to catch up with it now. Kick some rich ass, Salma! Here's the first official trailer for Miguel Arteta's Beatriz at Dinner, direct from YouTube: Beatriz (Salma Hayek), an immigrant from a poor town in Mexico, »
- Alex Billington
If you could sit face-to-face with Donald Trump, what would you say? Beatriz at Dinner doesn’t imagine exactly that, but the scenario it presents is undeniably analogous. Miguel Arteta‘s latest film, scripted by Mike White during last year’s election cycle, follows Beatriz (Salma Hayek), an immigrant who unexpectedly attends the dinner party of one of her wealthy clients, where she comes face-to-face with an egotistical real estate mogul, played by John Lithgow.
I said in my review from Sundance this year, “Presenting a clash of socio-economic classes and the ensuing discourse of morals and politics, the latest dramedy from Miguel Arteta is an observant, but not entirely successful outcry for the agency of the under-represented.” Also starring Chloë Sevigny, Connie Britton, David Warshofsky, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, and John Early, check out the first trailer below.
Beatriz (Salma Hayek), an immigrant from a poor town in Mexico, »
- Jordan Raup
This week sees another comic book adaptation arrive at movie theatres, while the Lego Batman and Logan are still pulling audiences in at the multiplex. Ah, but this film is not another superhero slugfest (we’ll have three more of those from Marvel Studios, and two from Warner/DC by the year’s end). No this comes from the “upper classes” of illustrated narratives, those “serious and somber” graphic novels (kind of a “highfalutin'” moniker). Several prestige flicks have been based on such books, like The History Of Violence and The Road To Perdition (both earned Oscar noms). The “graphic artist” (hey, I’ll bet he’d prefer cartoonist) behind this new film is no stranger to cinema. Matter of fact, this is his third feature-length movie adaptation. The first was my personal favorite flick of 2001, the quirky Ghost World (no ectoplasmic apparitions, but a teenage Scarlett Johansson). Five years »
- Jim Batts
Welcome back to the Weekend Warrior, your weekly look at the new movies hitting theaters this weekend, as well as other cool events and things to check out.
So we’re going to try something different this week, because the Weekend Warrior has been getting a little long in the tooth, and we’re worried that our busy readers may prefer shorter and more concise pieces. We’ll give this a try over the next few weeks and maybe I’ll write a little more when there’s a bigger movie opening.
This past weekend, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast reigned supreme with nearly $175 million--over $20 million more than my prediction (ouch!)--and even with a substantial drop this weekend, it’s unlikely that any of the three new movies will be able to »
- Edward Douglas
David Warshofsky has booked a series-regular role opposite Meaghan Rath and Laverne Cox in The Trustee, ABC's comedic one-hour pilot from The Smurfs writers Jay Scherick and David Ronn, Warner Bros TV and Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman's studio-based Brownstone Productions. Written by Scherick and Ronn and directed by Michael Engler, The Trustee is described as a fun, female buddy cop comedy about Eliza Radley (Rath), a driven but stubborn detective who finds unlikely… »
Deal will mark FilmNation’s first foray into North American distribution.
The partnership marks FilmNation’s first foray into North American distribution.
The partners have also acquired rights for Australia and New Zealand and worked together as international sales agent and Us or North American distributor on Mr Holmes, All Is Lost, A Most Wanted Man and Mud.
The film is a Bron Studios/Killer Films production in association with Creative Wealth Media.
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
The dramatic comedy of manners was written by Mike White and stars Salma Hayek as a health practitioner in Los Angeles who butts heads with a real estate developer, played by John Lithgow, at a dinner. The film co-stars Connie Britton, Jay Duplass, Amy Landecker, Chloë Sevigny and David Warshofsky.
Roadside Attractions and FilmNation also acquired distribution rights for the film in Australia and New Zealand. Wme, CAA and UTA negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers.
“Miguel and Mike have assembled a cinematic dream team to tell the hilarious and unforgettable story of Beatriz,” Roadside’s Howard Cohen, Eric d’Arbeloff and FilmNation’s Glen Basner said in a joint statement. “Their collaborations include many of the great independent films of the last two decades. »
- Graham Winfrey
Roadside Attractions and FilmNation have acquired North American rights to Miguel Arteta’s “Beatriz At Dinner.” Salma Hayek plays health practitioner Beatriz, who ends up at a dinner party opposite alpha male billionaire Doug Strutt (John Lithgow), leading to a night neither one will forget. The film, which premiered Monday in the Premiere Section at the Sundance Film Festival, also features Connie Britton, Jay Duplass, Amy Landecker, Chloë Sevigny, and David Warshofsky. “Miguel and Mike have assembled a cinematic dream team to tell the hilarious and unforgettable story of Beatriz,” Roadside’s Howard Cohen, Eric d’Arbeloff and FilmNation’s »
- Matt Pressberg
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