This Spanish-language film by Basque-Mexican director Alejandro González Iñarritu (who previously made the fascinatingly complex personal-social dramas Amores Perros, 21 Grams and Babel), was nominated for Best Foreign Language film at the 2011 Academy Awards. It stars Javier Barden in a performance that received the Best Actor award at Cannes and was nominated for Best Actor at the Academy Awards. Like Iñarritu’s other films, Biutiful is a complex tale of interweaving themes of fatherhood, spirituality, crime, mortality and the social-political challenges of the post-modern world. Barden plays the role of Uxbal, a single father in contemporary Barcelona, struggling to raise his two children, while protecting them from their coke-addicted, bi-polar, prostitute mother, and hustling enough income by helping immigrant African drug sellers and immigrant Chinese low-wage factory workers while also dealing with own terminal cancer, which he tries to hide from his children. Barden, who is in every scene of the film, is superb as a decent man confronting his personal mortality in a setting of apocalyptic social collapse. The title Biutiful comes from a spelling lesson he gives his children.
Filed under: Current Events, Films, Modern History, Politics, Spirituality | Tagged: 21 Grams, Academy Awards, Amores Perros, Babel, Best Actor, Best Foreign language film, Biutiful, Cannes Film Festival, Iñarritu, Javier Barden |