Posted on Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 by Russ Fischer
One of the films that has generated the most interest and buzz at Cannes this year is Biutiful, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and starring Javier Bardem. This time, the director of Amores Perros, 21 Grams and Babel wrote the film himself, having parted ways with creative partner Guillermo Arriaga.
Despite mixed reception, the film may still be a Palme d’Or contender, and will likely find distribution in the States. Until that happens, we’ve got an early promo trailer.
After seeing the film at Cannes, Peter summarized the plot:
Biutiful is a story about a man involved in a bunch of illegal dealings who learns that he might be dying of Cancer. He is a single father of two children, dealing with issues of mortality and legacy. His former wife is a druggie who is not responsible enough to take care of herself, nevermind the children.
Javier Bardem’s performance is the main focus of this film — it is masterful, sure to be the subject of the end of the year award nominations. The film is worth seeing (Bardem is worth the $10 or $15 ticket price alone), but the film is a definite departre from the Arriaga-crafted tales. The rest of the movie lacks the same focus shown in Bardem’s choices. Iñárritu’s style is confusing at times, and the story is spare and rather depressing. But what do you expect from a film of this subject matter?
That mixed take has been seen all across press coming out of Cannes. There are those who love the film, some who hate it, and many who fall in line with Peter to praise the central performance but have problems with the rest of the picture. I’m not the Iñárritu fan Peter is but I’m still curious to see how he fares writing without Arriaga. (Amores Perros is great, but the two after that? No thanks.) Armando Bo and Nicolás Giacobone also have screenplay credit on IMDB, I believe for an earlier draft.
So here’s the promo piece. The footage looks gorgeous (thanks to returning cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto) and Bardem looks soulful as hell. Beyond that? Hard to say, because there’s not a lot to go on. This isn’t a real trailer — it’s one of those sales/promo pieces that pop up around festivals. So enjoy the pretty pics, but don’t expect too much from the clip.