Sunday, 11 December 2011INDEX

Biutiful (2010)
Biutiful written and directed by Alejandro Gonzālez Iňārritu is probably the most depressing film I've ever seen. I would cheerfully break off watching it to see Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will. Ingmar Bergman is a comic film maker (and I'm not talking about Now About These Women) in comparison to Iňārritu.

Yet Biutiful is gorgeously made and has some of the best performances ever recorded on celluloid, particularly Hanaa Bouchaib, a teenager, though it was actually Javier Bardem who got nominated for the Oscar. In truth his performance is phenomenal but in this Spanish film that is not unusual.

It is set in a Catlonian badland, so bleakly depressing that it seems as if it would be impossible for things to be worse: and yet almost immediately they get much worse and continue to spiral downwards at an ever increasing rate.

If you imagine something ghastly might happen, it almost immediately will. Yet this is not done for comic effect and it is hard to believe that Iňārritu thinks it will actually change anything. It probably won't.

The only redeeming factor is that you may emerge a better person having gone through an emotional wringer (a roller coaster with only downs and no ups). I sincerely hope so.

If you have to see the very best film making (which this is) go see it. But if you value your happiness, stay well away.

Posted by Jonathan Brind at 05:57
Sunday, 11 December 2011INDEX