MVFF: Quint Reviews FRIDA!!
Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
This is one of the single best reviews I’ve ever read from Quint, and it both persuaded me to go to a FRIDA screening I was debating skipping and made me laugh out loud like a seal that’s been speared.
Ahoy squirts! The one and only Quint here reporting from the Mill Valley Film Festival to give you folks my opinion on FRIDA, directed by Julie Taymor (TITUS) and starring Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Geoffrey Rush, Valeria Golino with small cameos by Antonio Banderas and Edward Norton.
The film is, obviously, based on the life of well known artist Frida Kahlo, whose work is instantly recognizable. I had heard of her name and recognized her self portraits before I saw the movie, but knew nothing about her life. So, I went into this film pretty fresh. I honestly was fearing the movie would be a preachy/cynical/suffering artist film.
To my great relief, the focus of the film wasn't on Kahlo's suffering artist persona, but on her life with fellow painter Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina). It's a love story first and foremost. Sure, her life had great impact on her work and we see that impact, but it's not just a moving picture art exhibit. I love the fact that it's really about these two dysfunctional people who fall in love with each others' strengths as well as each others' weaknesses. Frida was crippled in an accident early in life, which turned her onto painting in the first place, and Diego has an insatiable need to screw as many women as he can. Each of them make no apologies about who they are, nor try to hide their weaknesses.
This movie really blew me away. Stylistically it's an amazing achievement. There are certain scenes where you think you're looking at a piece of Kahlo's art, then it subtly moves and you see it's really Salma in some ungodly makeup that makes her look like a painting... it's actually pretty fucking scary, but scary or not it's very affective. The whole film is beautifully shot.
And the performances! This is the performance Salma Hayek will be remembered for. I've always liked Hayek, but this is the first time where I can like her performance for more than her looks, spunk and energy. She shows some real acting ability and thank god she does or this film would have been a miserable failure. I don't know if you folks remember, but Madonna was supposed to play this role. That would have been a catastrophe. Hayek seems to know this is her chance to see what she's made of as an actress and takes full advantage of the character.
Alfred Molina damn near steals the show, though. He's the perfect match for Hayek as Frida. When Frida and Diego are on screen, there's some of that great chemistry and magic that happens when you put the two perfect people together and they start breathing their characters. Molina is there to support Hayek and vice versa. They fit perfectly together.
I know Miramax is going to pushing this one pretty big come Award time and I hope they don't fuck over Molina like they did Tom Wilkinson for IN THE BEDROOM, ignore him in favor of pushing for the lead actress. Hayek, like Sissy Spacek in IN THE BEDROOM, deserves a lot of credit and should be pushed come award time, but Molina's work in this film is too good to overlook in favor of pushing the bigger name.
Geoffrey Rush is almost unrecognizable in this film as Leon Trotsky, a political target who befriends Diego and Frida. He has a small role, but he runs with it for all he's worth. Banderas just has one scene, really just a cameo, so I don't really need to comment on his talent in this film. He's there, he's good, but his character isn't really important or cause anything important to happen. Ed Norton, who also isn't in the movie for too long, does well as Nelson Rockefeller and is a bit more important character in the scheme of things. All the cast is great, supporting included.
I'm really curious to see if Miramax gets behind this film or if they'll choose GANGS OF NEW YORK to represent the company around Oscar time. FRIDA is without a doubt the best Miramax movie to come out so far this year, but I'm dying to see if GANGS OF NEW YORK is as good as it looks to be. We'll see, won't we?
All in all, this movie is fantastic. If you like period films at all... Hell, if you like good movies, do yourself a favor and see this one. If all the above hasn't convinced you to see this movie, then I can only think of one more thing I haven't brought up yet: Salma Hayek having sex with other pretty women! Boobies! Boobies! If nothing I've said gets through, that might. If it doesn't, then maybe this one's not for you.
I'll be back soon with more coverage of the Mill Valley Film Festival as well as some interviews, hopefully. 'Til that day, this is Quint bidding you all a fond farewell and adieu.
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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Oct. 8, 2002, 10:19 a.m. CST
You know I never really thought about it much but Moriarty is right about this review and a lot of the stuff that Quint writes. Good job on this review. You really are one of the best this site has.
Oct. 8, 2002, 10:28 a.m. CST
But it really bugs me when posters on these talk-backs act like they are good friends with "Harry" and the reviewers on this site. They are not stars, for God's sake. They run an effing website. As for Frida, it seems like it must be good, but I can't help feeling ill about Hayak. She's hot, but she's not a good actress, and it makes me sick to see her "getting into the role" and all that shit. Did anyone else hear that she shaved her upper lip for this movie? Puhlease.
Oct. 8, 2002, 10:29 a.m. CST
Kinda boring actually...
Oct. 8, 2002, 12:07 p.m. CST
by Alpha Zebra
...is gonna totally lose his bet with his roommate that Hayek wouldn't be nominated for an Oscar. Hayek's playing a bixexual disabled (Denny's boy uses the term "gimp") artist married to womanizing alcoholic. She's a shoo-in! If I made wagers for money, I would not only have taken the same bet but given him 10-1 odds.
Oct. 8, 2002, 12:34 p.m. CST
Oct. 8, 2002, 2:21 p.m. CST
was great in Happy Days -- wasn't he in The Odd Couple, too?
Oct. 8, 2002, 2:21 p.m. CST
by el che'
...Quint brought up BOOBIES! Now I can't concentrate. Selma... Boobies... Selma... Boobies... I just hope that unibrow doesn't spoil the fantasy.
Oct. 8, 2002, 4:54 p.m. CST
by MISHKA DELIGHT
Damn straight she's gonna be Oscar-nominated, which she so richly deserves for this role. But the most important part, Alpha Zebra, is that my roommie loses his bet! I can smell the cash now! hehe GO SALMA!
Oct. 8, 2002, 5:22 p.m. CST
She was only impaled by a steel pipe in a streetcar accident and had to endure several painful spine surgeries. And I mean IMPALED as in going through her uterus and coming out her side. Anyway, this review kind of eases my fears, but I'm still not convinced Hayek was up to the task of portraying such a dynamic artists. I'll have to see it to believe it. Rivera's role is almost as daunting; the guy was a filthy pig and a FUCKING GENIUS! Molina has got to be at his best for this to work. I'm not sold on the whole lesbian emphasis either. Hopefully, that aspect has just been overblown by rumors.
Oct. 8, 2002, 5:35 p.m. CST
You had me actually thinking you were a reviewer with some merit. I was actually going to say, "Wow what a good review, maybe my opinion of the misogyny that infects this site is premature." HAHAHA! What a fool I was! You have to resort to the allure of seeing Salma having sex with women (which if this was a movie about a male painter and his affairs with guys you probably have the exact opposite reaction) and seeing her....boobies. What an infantile word. When (or if you ever) see breasts on a real woman right in front of you do you tell her "Yer Boobies are nice*drool*"? Does this site TRY to alienate women? Do reviewers like Quint think that the only people who watch movies are guys and the only thing guys want to see is BOOBIES, SPLOSIONS, and MORE BOOBIES? Ah well, it's like talking to a brick wall...
Oct. 8, 2002, 6 p.m. CST
"What on earth d'you think you are, a super star. Well alright you are. Well we all shine on like the moon and the stars and the sun. Well we all shine on every one come on." Glass, everybody is a star. even on an effing website... the information revolution of the w@rld... you say you wanna---
Oct. 8, 2002, 6:15 p.m. CST
they should make a movie about the painter Gustav Klimt-- vienna-- around the time of sigmund freud-- very trippy artist of the secession period when a victorian system of biedermeier home values was being broken down by an intellectual and artistic recognition of subconscious desires. a lot of his artwork was destroyed in 1945 during the war... his most famous painting is The Kiss. http://www.artmagick.com/artists/klimt.aspx?p=7
Oct. 8, 2002, 6:18 p.m. CST
Salma as FRIDA has sex with other women? Does this mean her unibrow gets caught in various pubic hairs? I can't wait!
Oct. 8, 2002, 6:44 p.m. CST
by Everett Robert
Oct. 8, 2002, 6:47 p.m. CST
by Everett Robert
I mus have hit the enter button by mistake...my bad...anyways...A couple of you have taken one little sentence, one that I missed until I read the talkback and then reread the review, into something bigger then it needs to be. This looks like a VERY good movie. I was debating weather or not to go to the Denver Int'l Film Festival on Sat to see this, Sunday to see The Bicycle Thief or on the 19th to see Bowling for Columbine. I'm leaning toward going Sat. to see this. Thanks for the great review Quint.
Oct. 8, 2002, 6:59 p.m. CST
I really hope she proves herself to be the awesome actress I always knew she was. I hope she gets recognized come award time. And with Ashley Judd, Antonio Banderas and Ed Norton supporting, Frida has one of the best casts ever. By the way does anyone know if the rumor of a kiss between Salma and Ash is true?
Oct. 8, 2002, 7:31 p.m. CST
Oct. 8, 2002, 7:31 p.m. CST
Saw it at Telluride and am getting tired of reading how good this mediocre film is. Great direction by Julie Taymor is marred by poor acting from Salma Hayek (who plays Frida like a girl playing dress-up) and a shallow script that fails to portray the artists (Frida & Diego Rivera) as anything more that sex-crazed "revolutionaries". Perfectly valid point to mention Salma's breasts as she seems to be exploiting them herself with a near Gwyneth-like determination to show them off.
Oct. 8, 2002, 7:34 p.m. CST
C'mon, one commment in a long review and suddenly Quint has no worth as a reviewer? Did you not get the tongue in cheek? Or were you to ecstatic at your chance to show what a fine, politically correct person you were, that you could give two shits about what the guy was actually saying? It's called irony. It's the year 2002. You seem to be about 2 decades behind. Talking about seeing Salma's "boobies" is no more or less degrading then the RED DRAGON review that mentioned Ralph Finnes' weiner. There are those of us who do not run screaming when naything of a sexual nature comes up, so quit turning your nose up, 'kay? It's really, really, really fucking annoying.
Oct. 8, 2002, 7:45 p.m. CST
what's this jive about selma shaving her lip? was it hairy?
Oct. 8, 2002, 9:37 p.m. CST
Salma as Frida shaved her lip and glued it on her forehead, where it could do some good.
Oct. 9, 2002, 12:21 a.m. CST
by Silver Shamrock
but does that mean we should suffer too, looking at that hairy lip and monobrow? Wild Horses couldn't drag me in to see that. James Joyce had it right when he wrote that a flaw is 10 worse on a woman. Even if it has boobies, so what? By the time they get to it you won't be able to forget about the unibrow.
Oct. 9, 2002, 12:23 a.m. CST
by Silver Shamrock
"10 times worse"
Oct. 9, 2002, 8:36 a.m. CST
I'm strangely satisfied to hear you say Frida is mediocre. That does not surprise me in the least. Since when is Ed Norton a writer? Since when is Salma Hayak anything more than an ornament?
Jan. 29, 2008, 10:52 p.m. CST
trying to figure out this <p> </p> thing since I didn't attend AICN 101.
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