Something BIUTIFUL

Javier Bardem in BIUTIFUL

There is a small GDT-produced film that is getting a limited release in the US on December 29th that has not gotten much attention on this site, but it is getting a lot of attention elsewhere.

That film is BIUTIFUL.

This is the second film from the CHA CHA CHA film production company (following Rudo y Cursi) started by Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Guillermo del Toro – Mexico’s most acclaimed directors.  The film is directed by Iñárritu and stars Academy Award winning actor Javier Bardem (NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN)  as Uxbal, a father coming to grips with his own mortality.

Iñárritu is a tremendously talented director, who has a keen interest in gripping, emotional dramas with big themes (21 GRAMS, BABEL).  This film appears to be part of that same cannon.  It is a film about how we die. It is a film about how we live.

I recently read an interview by Steve Pond with Del Toro and Iñárritu about this film.  It is a terrific interview, and the most significant thing that I learned from it was how frustrated – and borderline angry – these two directors are at Hollywood and the studio system for its unwillingness to support films of this kind. By “this kind”, I mean art house films, or films that do not cater to the “highest common denominator”.

Here are a few quotes from Guillermo that I found interesting:

I think the studios are being conservative, and cowardly. That they only venture to the safest, most inane bets for the audience. Things that seem recycled from a recycle from a recycle…

The era of the filmmaker-driven cinema is dying because corporations find it absolutely unacceptable. Film is driven by marketing, and lawyers, and people that see a poster, a package, and that’s it. There was a time when you could resist that, 10 years ago, when there was enough money and enough markets. But as soon as the money shrunk, they became ultra conservative.

So why should a GDT fan see this film?  I can tell you that the film has a spiritual or supernatural element to it, which fans will like.  Guillermo says GDT fans should see it because it is “incredibly human and moving”…but I believe there is another reason to see it.  Frank Darabont once lobbied for fans to see PAN’S LABYRINTH on this site by saying that buying a ticket for a film like this is a vote – it is a vote for studios to make more films like this. It is a vote for intelligent, meaningful films that awaken the soul. 

Check out the trailer below and decide if you want to get out and vote!   You can view all release dates at IMDB.

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