This was a movie that would have worked better as a stage show. The claustrophobic tension that builds in that house with all of the discomfort, alcohol – induced mannerisms, and awkwardness was unmistakeable, but didn’t really come across on screen.
The script was written by Mike White, was directed by Miguel Arteta, and stars a lovely group of actors who did what they could with what they were given. Salma Hayek really shines as Beatriz in this non – glamorous role, in which she plays a holistic medicine practitioner spiritual healer who runs into this hotel mogul megalomaniac (a little too obvious, as to who he is supposed to resemble in terms of real life character(Trump)) named Doug Strutt, who is wonderfully portrayed by John Lithgow.
The supporting cast do a good job increasing the awkwardness in the room, with Amy Landecker playing his third wife (again, a bit on the nose there) Jeana, who is trying to sway the conversations away from more serious topics of discussion throughout the evening. Connie Britton plays the host of the dinner Cathy, a rich housewife who is trying to appease her wealthy guests, as well as Beatriz. David Warshofsky plays Grant, one of the hosts of the evening, and as he says in one scene, ‘they owe their fortune to Doug’, and because of that everything that Doug says, thinks or does is genius. Jay Duplass plays Alex, a lawyer who also agrees with everything that Doug says, ends up drinking more and more throughout the evening, getting pissed drunk by the end. Chloë Sevigny portrays Alex’s wife Shannon, who is excited to be in Cathy and Grant’s home, with their lives on the rise into wealth.
The story of this film was very awkward, and discomforting which was comedic in some scenes, while being cringe worthy in others. I felt that the ending was extremely unsatisfying, and disturbing at the same time. The cinematography was beautiful when it was out of the house, and we were seeing flashes of Beatriz’s childhood memories. The music did not add anything to the film, while also not detracting anything, it was just there.
There are mentions of killing animals, and if you are not comfortable listening to people describe that act, then you might want to skip some scenes, or go to the restroom for those scenes. You do miss out on a bit of the story, but I wanted to include that in this review as my girlfriend is extremely sensitive to those types of things, and I know others can be as well.
The fake out ending where Beatriz stabs Doug in the neck with the letter opener would have had a more satisfying ending, as it would have made sense for the character to try and ‘heal’ the world in any small way that she can. The real ending, where we are to assume she commits suicide by drowning herself out of hopelessness after that dinner party was extremely depressing and annoying to watch. I felt cheated that that was the actual ending. I am not sure if that is an intentional feeling that the filmmakers wanted the audience to feel, if yes, then bravo! You succeeded.
Spoilers Are Done!!
Overall, I feel like the movie was worth seeing at least once, but for myself, I don’t believe that it is worth seeing in theatres. It’s not a movie where I will be wanting to watch a second time. I can totally understand why people would absolutely love this movie, while I can also see why some people will find this movie utterly boring. Once again, I must reiterate what I have said before, film is subjective. People have different taste and loves, and that is a good thing. If everybody loved the same thing, then the world would be a boring place because then there would be no individualism. I would give this movie 6.25/10.
Do you think you will go and watch this movie? If yes, what did you think of it? Do you agree with my score? What are your comments on the film? I would love to hear what you have to say about it. That’s why I am writing this blog, to share my opinions with the world, and hopefully hear some opinions back.
Thanks for taking the time to read my review,
Tags: Beatriz at Dinner