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Beatriz at Dinner

Beatriz at Dinner: Salma Hayek places Beatriz, a massage therapist who immigrated from Mexico and was raised by her grandmother. She is at the home of one of her wealthy clients (Cathy) providing a massage. Beatriz also helped the daughter of Cathy recover from cancer, so Beatriz has a special place with Cathy. Her car won’t start, and Cathy invites Beatriz to dinner at which Doug Strutt (John Lithgow), a uber-rich building mogul, will be attending. The film involves the psychological interplay between Doug and Beatriz, who is sure she knows Doug from somewhere. The highlight of this movie is the acting; Hayek and Lithgow give wonderful performances of two people who come from two different worlds and are changed by their experience at dinner. I was not as taken in by the story, which is rather murky. Once I tried to move beyond the performance to the story, I got lost. While this could be a really good film with more depth involving the different worldviews, the story never quite gels in a way that makes it a powerful statement. I also found the ending confusing. This film gets a thumbs-up from me due primarily to the 2 performances, especially that of Hayek.

About Gary Burkholder

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