“I actually saw these yesterday, but I came straight home to nap before running off to a midnight Rocky Horror Picture Show-ing so I didnt get a chance to do the write ups. And now Im most of the way thru ExpDelTop100 #78 so this is gonna be on the short side.

The lack of interesting film fare at the usual major release theaters promted me to watch a couple of this year’s Academy Award nominees that were low on my priority list. At this point, I’ve now seen all of the majors except one supporting actress (Jackie Weaver for Animal Kingdom), one screen play (Another Year), and a couple of costumes I think.

This one’s actually up for two Oscars: foreign film (Mexico) and best actor (Javier Bardem). Foreign film is always a crap shoot because of the special screening thing for voting, so I usually dont make an effort there. But I do try to see all the major acting nominees if at all possible.

I can definitely see how he earned the nod, although Im not sure if the flick would have gotten the notice it did Bardem not been cast. It almost certainly wouldnt have scored another actor the nomination, given that a lot of the last minute push that snuck him in (arguably stealing the spot from Ryan Gosling) was Julia Roberts’ screening party of the film.

Moving on to talk about the actual film now.

Bardem was fantastic. The rest of the film didnt impress me. For starters, it was a whopping 2 and a half hours. That’s a long time to sit thru a foreign film. It actually took some effort for me to get used to dealing with the subtitles. THe problem is that I do understand Spanish pretty well, but there was usually a word here and there I’d hafta check the subtitles for. That meant that I was thinking in two languages at the same time, and it was a good half hour or so until I could resolve the two. Im also used to watching movies at home with the subtitles on (instead of having to toggle volume) so that confused my brain even more.

Besides that, it felt like the film went in a few too many directions without any real cohesion between them. I think it could have done without the whole psychic storyline. That just didnt fit. But despite all that was going on, it seemed like a lot of important details and relationships weren’t explained well enough early on. Then it felt like nothing was really happening. Just kinda tough to sit through.

One more positive I will give it, it was a very emotional film. There was a scene towards the end that really choked me up, and had me preemptively reaching for the tissues. The emotion conveyed on screen throughout was so strong, again proving Bardem worthy of the nomination. However, its not exactly something I’d feel the need to watch again.

Biutiful – \m/ \m/

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