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Biutiful (2010)

R  |   |  Drama  |  4 February 2011 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 63,864 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 123 user | 287 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

This is the story of Uxbal, a man living in this world, but able to see his death, which guides his every move.


(screenplay), (based on a story by), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 45 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hanaa Bouchaib ...
Guillermo Estrella ...
Cheikh Ndiaye ...
Diaryatou Daff ...
Taishen Cheng ...
Jin Luo ...
George Chibuikwem Chukwuma ...
Lang Sofia Lin ...
Yodian Yang ...
Chino Obeso
Tuo Lin ...
Barman Bar Hai
Xueheng Chen ...
Chino Bodega
Xiaoyan Zhang ...


Uxbal, single father of two children, finds his life in chaos as he is forced to deal with his life in order to escape the heat of crime in underground Barcelona, to break with the love for the divorced, manic depressive, abusive mother of his children and to regain spiritual insight in his life as he is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing images, language, some sexual content, nudity and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

4 February 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Biutipuli  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£156,029 (UK) (28 January 2011)


$5,100,937 (USA) (3 June 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Alejandro González Iñárritu spent 14 months editing the film. See more »


In the scene where there are three dead boys lying, the hands of the middle boy changes in between shots. See more »


Marambra: [weeping] If I close my eyes then the thoughts start. They make me scared. I called you. I called you many times. I can't give the children what they need. I'm so sorry I was cruel to Mateo. I'm doing what I can to survive. I really want to be faithful to you, but I also like to have some fun... like a whore.
Uxbal: Don't say that, Marambra. Forgive me. I've never known what I should give you; I still don't know. Something... I've never known. But we have hurt each other so much.
Marambra: Take me with you on ...
See more »


Featured in The 83rd Annual Academy Awards (2011) See more »


Let the Music Play
Performed by Barry White
Written by Barry White
Courtesy of Universal Music Mexico S.A. De C.V.
Publishing Warner Chappell Music Mexico S.A. De C.V.
See more »

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User Reviews

Biutiful (2010)
4 October 2010 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Biutiful is a rather complex and interesting film, one that I have to admit is still sinking in as I'm still piecing together the dots of a rather sprawling storyline. Biutiful is a film that exists within the margins of society, it's everywhere we don't want to live, it's everyone we don't want to meet; it's all the struggles we'd rather not face and then some. As a result, the film is loud, violent, crazy, shameful, desperate, dirty and all other manner of words that describe the run down storefronts and apartments of the worst lived areas. Intelligently and bravely the films central idea is lost in the crowd, as obscured as the desires of its inhabitants, it's a confusing and chaotic place to be, but it works here where it wouldn't elsewhere. I would really like to watch this one again in hopes of better connecting the dots of a life lived on the fringe of society, entrenched in wrong doing, but not without its struggle with sensible moral. I think the idea behind Biutiful is that life, no matter how destitute and forgotten can be beautiful, it all depends on how you except and claim it.

Biutiful is the story of Uxbal, a shady man who's life is filled with turmoil, from admissions of an uncared for terminal illness, to unstable lovers, to unruly children, to spirits of which he can commune, to the lives of the underpaid migrant workers that he pimps out to whoever will employ them. It's easy for Uxbal to look back on his forty year existence and measure it in disappointments. But Uxbal is also a sensitive and caring man, who is able to make these admissions and in doing so take the steps to make his life it's own unique form of biutiful, but with a city more a crumbling metropolis and people who bar his progress with any step, can Uxbal truly bring some semblance of beauty to his life before it is painfully cut short, or will the darkness and depravity of the world around him swallow him and his desires whole, the answer is well worth discovering.

So I just can't say a whole lot with one viewing, but there are some things that stand out immediately. The film is several things, sad, funny, scary, creepy, intense, and as obvious as it seems, beautiful. Definitely some of the nicest camera work this year, yes it's sometimes shaky but you must consider the imagery it captures; some scenes are purely blissful for a film fan to witness. The editing is so great here that even though you know where the film is going its still exciting to get there. Javier Bardem gives a brilliant performance here, and it will take awhile for the viewer to except that Uxbal is an undesirable, but once you allow yourself to slip into his shoes, you begin to really get a sense of the man and his life. The seediness of the streets, and the strife and struggle of the humans in them are written all over this man, and Bardem really gives himself over to this character, warts and all, and gives us a brilliantly flawed person worthy of our attention. The rest of the cast is also well played, their stories contain their own levels of thoughtfulness and intrigue that both separates and connects to and from our protagonist intelligently. The script feels very human, there are no major verses of dialogue, people talk, feel and behave very naturally in this film, despite all coming from abnormal situations. Virtually no exposition on why this film exists, its meaning is wonderfully felt but not fully explained. The direction is so subtly smart that I was surprised to miss some of the most inventive and thought provoking foreshadowing I've seen in a film. Really just an all out creative and arresting affair, I'm trying hard not to use the word beautiful, but its fits every gritty frame of this film. The cinematography is awesome, really blown away thinking back to the brilliance of some of these shots, great work with the actors and the environments. My only complaint is that sound editing got a little to jarring, I get it's supposed to be an ugly film, but high pitched beeps and boops are annoying anyway you cut it (the 2001 monolith can suck it, thanks Kubrick), it drives home the madness of the setting, but I actually covered my ears at one point to muffle the noise. Other than that, the film is wildly challenging and rewarding for the viewer, I am blown away by the artistry here, it took this film to great heights, it made ugly pretty, which is no easy feat. If you don't like your films themes to be cut and dried, you're going to want to check out, pick apart and decipher the themes and mysteries of Biutiful, as it is more than deserving of such treatment.

So yes I liked this film quite a bit, but will hasten to rave until I've fully understood the motive of it. Thematically it's no straightforward story, there's something deep underneath all the grime, and I'm glad I dirtied my hands on it, and can't wait to do so again. A film for those who love long walks on the wild side and never choose the easy way out; a real decent thinking persons movie. A film in a class of it's own that breaks conventions in the best ways possible, and definitely among the years best films that I've seen thus far. Recommended.

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