Sunday, August 27, 2017

Beatriz at Dinner

This was quite a straight-forward movie, which I only really went to see because John Lithgow is in it. He plays this big time property developer, with a poor environmental record, a history of ill-treating people and a habit of big game hunting. He's obviously a type, rather than a real person. He and his wife, along with a young property lawyer and his wife have been invited to dinner by Cathy. It is very much a dinner of the haves.
Beatriz (Salma Hayek) is there earlier in the day to give Cathy a massage. She's had a long history with the family, as Beatriz helped healed their daughter when she had cancer (one small recognition that being rich does not insulate people completely). Cathy even calls her friend, so it seems natural when Beatriz's car breaks down (seriously - it was just a flat battery: maybe Cathy and her ilk might not know that, but Beatriz would have, surely) to invite her to stay for dinner.
Because she's not rich, not dressed for the occasion, a migrant and a healer she's not treated well. Because she has pride in who she is, she gives as good as she gets. I think our sympathies are directed to lie with her: mine certainly did, even when (in a dream sequence) she kills Lithgow's character.
I did see another movie the same night, but don't want to spend much energy on it. I've seen several Kristen Stewart movies, and was curious as to what a Robert Pattinson movie might be like so went along to the Regent to see Good Time. It really was not - I was at another movie later in the week, and a couple of people in the row ahead of me were talking about it, saying it just got worse as it went on. On the face of it, it sounds like Connie is doing a good thing, trying to rescue his brother, but he was only in the position of having to because of his misuse of him. Nick clearly has some intellectual difficulties - we meet him having a therapy session, one that is just about to work when Connie pulls him out of it because he needs a sideman with whom to rob a bank. They get away with it, sort of, and evade capture until Nick runs into a plate glass window - Connie is nowhere to be seen. Of course, the cops get Nick, which is why Connie has to rescue him.
The essential action of the movie takes place over the course of the night. Nick gets into trouble in lock up and his hospitalised, which makes Connie's rescue job easier - if he could bloody recognise his own brother. Instead, he's lumbered with another criminal and after a ponderous conversation, they go after some drugs and money he's stashed in am amusement park. At one point, one of the characters said of someone that he had no redeeming features - this was pretty much the take I had on Connie. He wasn't even a good criminal, uses everyone he comes across and I found the action really dragged. This isn't a complaint about Pattinson's acting - just the character he played - and the cinematography was great.




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