BEATRIZ AT DINNER Score: B
Rating: R Length: 83 minutes
This is a sleeper film. It may come and go and be hardly noticed. But some among the readership will welcome a true art film. One, that has a dramatic plot with challenging twists and turns. Just when you think you have figured every person out … and I can’t go any further unfortunately because Mike White, who wrote BEATRIZ AT DINNER, has saved dramatic moments that this critic is not going to reveal nor spoil. This film deserves an A score, but I found the film climax to be troubling and unsatisfying. Those of you who have not become exhausted from the daily alternative facts being spewed out from Washington, D.C. may actually love this film.
Salma Hayek is Beatriz. She is a California massage therapist who has car trouble. Being stranded down in Newport Beach has its advantages and its dirty little secrets. Beatriz has a calling, has a remarkable power to take new-age massage to bring physical, mental and spiritual healing for cancer survivors.
Car trouble leads to an invitation for Beatriz to stay for a dinner party, and eventually overnight. John Lithgow delivers his usual consistent performance. This time he is a billionaire that you swear could be Donald Trump.
The jokes disappear and class war fare turns into a dark, dark drama for those who have, and those who do not. Again, this film is worthy of an A. If you are up to seeing this kind of an adult film, please do so. I would also add to take the time after the movie to discuss the meaning of what you just experienced. BEATRIZ can be a fulfilling evening.