15 items from 2011
Alejandro González Iñárritu, director of the films Babel, 21 Grams and Amores Perros, is famous for integrating multiple storylines throughout a film to explore the deepest emotional recesses of what it means to be human. In Biutiful, his most recent work, Iñárritu departs from this “points-of-view” device in favor of focusing most of the screen time on principal actor, Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men). It is because of this decision that Biutiful may be Iñárritu’s best work to date, as Bardem’s broad emotional range is a perfect canvas for Iñárritu’s brush. Biutiful is a relentless downward spiral of one man’s journey to provide for his family and seek forgiveness for his sins. With every new scene, the film somehow becomes bleaker and his situation more desperate. Perhaps the only failing of Biutiful is how rarely we are treated to moments of hope and levity. That shortcoming aside, »
- Dave Trumbore
Hitting movie theaters this weekend:
Movie of the Week
The Plot: In 1963, Charles Xavier (McAvoy) starts up a school and later a team, for humans with superhuman abilities. Among them is Erik Lensherr (Fassbender), his best friend, and future archenemy.
The Buzz: The film’s preliminary reviews have been solid, with 41 favorable reviews to 1 unfavorable, as of today at Rottentomates. The cast is really strong too. However, I personally have zero interest in this film, as it looks to have zero style (other than the standard nerdy film-version X-Men vibe), but perhaps this will be the first good X-Men film? I loved the comic books, was a pretty big reader for awhile there, and I’ve always felt like, of all the Marvel films, the X-Men films have fallen the furthest from their book. »
- Aaron Ruffcorn
Chicago – The feel bad movie of 2010 has finally arrived in stores. Pardon me for withholding my enthusiasm. Although Alejandro González Iñárritu’s fourth feature has its share of indelible images, its familiar themes and unrelenting solemnity causes the senses to become numbed rather than engaged. The film offers 147 minutes of pure bleakness with a couple booger jokes thrown in for last-minute levity.
Only the shattering performances from Javier Bardem and Maricel Álvarez make “Biutiful” function as something more than a gorgeously lensed dirge. This is the first Iñárritu film I’ve seen that feels too long. Without the Rubix cube-like structure of his previous features, this linear descent into despair feels naggingly one note, perhaps illustrating that Iñárritu’s fractured editing was primarily what kept his viewers’ attention rapt during cumbersome dramas such as “21 Grams” and “Babel.”
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0
Bardem won the Best Actor award at Cannes and scored a »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
We have an exclusive featurette from the upcoming home video release Biutiful, which will hit shelves on Blu-ray and DVD May 31. Click on the video player below to watch this featurette with star Javier Bardem, which delves deeper inside Alejandro González Iñárritu's Oscar nominated drama.
Click to watch Exclusive: Javier Bardem Featurette!
Uxbal (Bardem) is a man living on the wrong side of the law who struggles to provide for his children on the dangerous streets of Barcelona. As fate encircles him, Uxbal learns to accept the realities of life, whether bright, bad - or biutiful - in this unforgettable film.
"The Making-of Biutiful" featurette
Biutiful was released December 29th, 2010 and stars Javier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez, Hanaa Bouchaib, Guillermo Estrella, Eduard Fernández, Cheikh Ndiaye, Diaryatou Daff, Cheng Tai Shen. The film is directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. »
Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu.
A single father, who struggles with love, fatherhood and his business in the underworld of Barcelona, is diagnosed with terminal cancer. He must also deal with his bi-polar wife and a large group of illegal immigrants.
Films about a life of crime always tend to focus on the rise and fall of a young man with big ideas being completely crippled by the baseball bat of corruption. It’s almost like they follow a moral code that says all people who dive into the underworld must drown at the end. After a while, you find yourself asking for a little more forgivingness in these affairs. Or at least let us see a man who genuinely kind, despite his illegal behaviour. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s newest release has given »
Biutiful Directed by: Alejandro González Iñárritu Written by: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Armando Bo, and Nicholás Giacobone Starring: Javier Bardem, Maricel Álvares, Hanaa Bouchaib I'm glad I went into Biutiful blind, which if you're reading this review may mean I'm robbing you the opportunity of. I'll try to give away as little as possible, suffice it to say the film isn't just your garden-variety drama. In fact, variety is the name of the game. If there is a criticism to be had of Alejandro González Iñárritu's new film, it's that the Mexican writer-director of Amores Perros and Babel is simultaneously juggling enough content for two or more films — at two and a half hours, Biutiful could almost be two films. Here comes the spoiler warning. Of course, it may only be a spoiler if you knew as little about the film as I did going in. Biutiful contains elements of »
Weekend Box Office
The Roommate $15.6 million}Sanctum $9.2 millionNo Strings Attached $8.4 millionThe King's Speech $8.3 millionThe Green Hornet $6.1 millionThe Rite $5.5 millionThe Mechanic $5.3 millionTrue Grit $4.7 millionThe Dilemma $3.4 millionBlack Swan $3.3 million
The new horror film The Rite, starring Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins, took control of the box office last week earning $15 million in its opening weekend. The new movie took down reigning champ, No Strings Attached starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, and beat out the weekend's other new release The Mechanic starring Jason Statham. But with two new films hitting the charts this week including the college based thriller The Roommate, and the James Cameron produced 3D action-thriller Sanctum, it looks like we will be crowning a new box office champion this weekend.
Weekend Box Office
The Rite $15 millionNo Strings Attached $13.6 millionThe Mechanic $11.5 millionThe Green Hornet $11.5 millionThe King's Speech $11.1 millionTrue Grit $7.6 millionThe Dilemma $5.4 millionBlack Swan $5.1 millionThe Fighter $4 millionYogi Bear $3.1 million
The new romantic comedy, No Strings Attached starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, debuted at number one last week, knocking down reigning box office champ, The Green Hornet starring Seth Rogen. But with two new releases this weekend, including The Rite with Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins, and The Mechanic starring Jason Statham, the romcom was unable to successfully defend its crown.
Debuting at number one this week is the new horror film, The Rite. The movie stars Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins (Red Dragon), along with Ciarán Hinds (Miami Vice), Alice Braga (Predators), Toby Jones (Amazing Grace), and Rutger Hauer (Batman Begins). The film made $5,027 on each of its 2,985 screens for an opening weekend total of $15 million. The movie was just short of »
"A change is as good as a rest" seems to have been the ethos utilised by Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu with his latest release Biutiful (2010), recently nominated for ‘Best Foreign Film’ at this year’s upcoming Academy Awards.
Dropping the multinational, parallel narrative structure of past films Babel (2006), 21 Grams (2003) and his acclaimed debut feature Amores Perros (2000), Iñárritu cements the developments of Biutiful solely within the multicultural flats and factories of suburban Barcelona, this time focusing almost entirely upon a single character, sickly single father Uxbal (Javier Bardem).
Much of the post Cannes/pre Oscar discussion regarding Biutiful has been in relation to the performance of Javier Bardem in the lead role - for which he has just received a nomination for 'Best Actor' at this year's 83rd Academy Awards - and rightly so. Despite impressive early collaborations with Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar in High Heels (1991) and Live Flesh (1997), it »
Disney's animation formula might be 50 movies old, but after a thorough 21st-century overhaul it sparkles anew here. The classical elements are present and correct: rejigged fairytale (Rapunzel), musical numbers, expressive animals, problematic mother-daughter dynamic. But the animation is bright, the comedy tight, and the dialogue high-school-friendly. It's like Shrek without the irony, which is kind of refreshing. Little to challenge the status quo (or Pixar), maybe, but it does feature a great comedy horse.
Barney's Version (15)
Giamatti was made to play this comically disgraceful antihero – a boozy, philandering New York Jewish sleazeball/charmer – whose belief in romance shapes his unreliably narrated life, even as it ruins those of others.
- The guide
Where do I begin in describing the sheer shittyness of Uxbal’s (Javier Bardem) life? Ok, I’ll start with his wife Marambra (Maricel Álvarez), who is not only bipolar but also an alcoholic and an abusive parent. We first meet Marambra as she dances donning only panties above Uxbal’s brother, Tito (Eduard Fernández), while Uxbal is on the other end of the telephone line discussing with Tito the sale of their deceased father’s grave to a shopping mall developer. We realize immediately why Uxbal left Marambra -- a massage therapist who, more than likely, does not shy away from happy endings -- and how he earned full custody of their 7 year-old son, Mateo (Guillermo Estrella), and 10 year-old daughter, Ana (Hanaa Bouchaib). »
- Don Simpson
We have an exclusive featurette for the Academy Award nominated drama Biutiful, which will expand to theaters nationwide today, January 28. Click on the video player below to hear from director Alejandro González Iñárritu, who takes us deeper inside this movie, which stars Javier Bardem in an Oscar-nominated performance:
Click to watch Exclusive: Alejandro González Iñárritu Featurette!
Biutiful is a love story between a father and his children. This is the journey of Uxbal, a conflicted man who struggles to reconcile fatherhood, love, spirituality, crime, guilt and mortality amidst the dangerous underworld of modern Barcelona. His livelihood is earned out of bounds, his sacrifices for his children know no bounds. Like life itself, this is a circular tale that ends where it begins. As fate encircles him and thresholds are crossed, a dim, redemptive road brightens, illuminating the inheritances bestowed from father to child, and the paternal »
Chicago – In the midst of life’s journey, what may seem like a long time suddenly can become short, what seems like the routine suddenly becomes desperate. The theme of these changes and the effect on a dying soul is explored in “Biutiful.”
The film is directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, best known for “Babel” and “Amores Perros,” and continues with his exploration of happenstance and chance encounters, this time fueled by a man who literally feels his life ebbing away.
Javier Bardem is Uxbal, a shady character on the streets of Barcelona, Spain, who acts as a facilitator for black market immigration labor. He is raising two children on his own, after separating from his wife Marambra (Maricel Álvarez) due to her addiction problems. Despite copious sums of cash, Uxbal prefers a more modest existence, mostly because his Barcelona is one of the shadows and squalor, areas not frequented by tourists. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Nine films will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 83rd Academy Awards. Sixty-six films had originally qualified in the category.
The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:
Mexico, Biutiful, Alejandro González Iñárritu, director
Spain, Tambien la Lluvia (Even the Rain), Icíar Bollaín, director
Foreign Language Film nominations for 2010 are again being determined in two phases.
The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based members, screened the 66 eligible films between mid-October and January 13. The group's top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy's »
Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
The Scoop: Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo Del Toro both pitched in as producers on this Spanish-language collaboration starring mega-hunk Bardem. He plays a bloke by the name of Uxbal, a criminal forced to re-evaluate his life when he is confronted by a childhood friend who happens to now be a cop. Throw in some children who may be starting down their own troubled paths and you have the recipe for this slow meditation on life.
Rated R, 138 min., limited | Watch the trailer »
- NextMovie Staff
15 items from 2011
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