Biutiful, a movie that possesses so many amazing performances that it’s hard to single out Javier Bardem, but one has to given that all of the stories revolve around him. It is such a singular performance that it gives one pause to think that the Oscar will go to Colin Firth. That snark aside, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel) has, once again, coalesced seemingly disparate strands into a whole experience that defies an easy viewing experience. But it is rich with detail, poignance, melancholy, joy and the character of a city, in this case, Barcelona.
I can’t remember the last time I saw a movie where the audience was riveted and silent during its 187 minutes. There are scenes of utter devastation, beauty and simple pleasures, such as a family sitting down to eat up all the left over cartons of ice cream when their refrigerator goes out.
Every relationship in the film is complicated and nuanced by large and small matters. It’s a film that could have easily gone off the rails, and some have stated that it’s overstuffed with incident, but I disagree on that. Sometimes our lives are so chaotic that when the time comes to just breathe, we can’t. Go see it!