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Dinner With Beatriz

June 27, 2017

What’s there to like?

To be honest, Dinner With Beatriz started a little slow for me. I wasn’t quite hooked in. Salma Hayek is more off-putting than appealing as a frumpy holistic healer. But then Jay Duplass and Chloe Sevigny (what a pair!) show up as a striving, hopeful, 1%-wannabe couple, and I knew I would enjoy this thing.

The story, centrally, is about a fish out of water. Wealthy people are having a dinner party to celebrate a business deal that will make them all a lot of money. Hayek’s Beatriz, comparatively much poorer, ends up attending the party because she gave a massage to the hostess earlier in the day and her car wouldn’t start.

And while a primary way Beatriz is different from her dinner mates is social class, there are other differences too. She’s got a soft spot for the weak and oppressed, be they animals or people. She doesn’t seem to have very good manners. She grew up in Mexico. And all those factors come into play in making the party less successful than hoped.

I haven’t even mentioned John Lithgow and Connie Britton yet, but they’re central and wonderful. Mike White’s screenplay brings nice complexity in showing how strong convictions don’t always make you right.

What’s not to like?

Well, the screenplay’s complexity can also be a little confusing towards the end. I left not quite being able to figure out what the movie was trying to convey. That’s partly a good thing–I like leaving with something to think about–but sometimes it’s a little much.

Also. There’s an ending that’s extra confusing.  I had so many lingering questions. Just too many, really. Seemed out of character. And I guess I’ll leave it at that.

The Verdict

A fish out of water, culture clash movie that shows everyone sharing the blame for a crappy evening–even the supposedly moral ones.

Fine

[cross posted at practicallyculture.com]

From → Movies

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