Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Javier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez & Hanaa Bouchaib
148 Min./ Mexico, Spain

It was a long wait for new work from director Iñárritu. His latest film Babel dates back from 2006. The director who also is responsible for 21 Grams and Amores Perros did not only direct Biutiful but also wrote the script. Where his previous films were all mosaic films with several main characters, in this movie is chosen for one main character.

Uxbal is a huckster, a sort of intermediary. He is the link between an illegal Chinese sewing shop and also illegal African street vendors in Barcelona. In addition to this hectic life, Uxbal is also responsible for the upbringing of his two children Ana and Mateo. Their mother is manic depressive and unable to take care for the children, although she likes to be involved in the upbringing. If that was not enough, Uxbal has been told he has cancer and only has a few months to live. In the short time he has he tries to make everything to close as good as he can.

For the first time, director Iñárritu leaves the mosaic narrative. From that point of view Biutiful is very different from its predecessors. Yet clearly the characteristics of Iñárritu are present in the film. All his films so far are about redemption, about letting your old life go and love. You will find these elements also in Biutiful. The acting of Javier Bardem is phenomenal. His character is what makes this movie. After Amores Perros, 21 Grams and Babel Iñárritu once again delivers us a great movie.


Review by: Sieto Kooijker