Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Frida (2002) [R] ****

Frida is the story of artist and political radical Frida Kahlo (played by Salma Hayek), how her artistic career began at eighteen years of age as the result of a painful bus accident following which she was confined to bed for several months, her complicated life-long relationship with her much older husband and teacher, famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera (played by Alfred Molina), her brief affair with writer Leon Trotsky (played by Geoffrey Rush), and her romantic relationships with women like Tina Modotti (played by Ashley Judd).

While I had been curious about Frida Kahlo and her artistic connection with the Mexican muralists (Orozco, Rivera and Siqueiros), I was equally interested in how Salma Hayek would portray her. Salma gave an inspired performance, as though she were channeling Frida Kahlo herself, and her 2003 Academy Award nomination for Best Actress was well deserved. If you enjoy period biographical romantic dramas, films like Bright Star and The Young Victoria, you probably will enjoy Frida.

Among the Special Features on the DVD you may find The Interview with Salma, and this gave me as much enjoyment as the film itself. The interviewer’s voice has been edited out, and what remains feels like a 35-minute stream-of-consciousness monologue. Salma talks about her nine-year struggle to make Frida, her discovery of director Julie Taymor and how the project came together so perfectly. Salma also talks about her approach to the art and craft of acting, and about her philosophy of life. It is a beautiful presentation, spoken from her heart, and Salma is absolutely radiant. Don't miss The Interview with Salma. And, finally, if you enjoy Salma Hayek, I can highly recommend Fools Rush In, a cross-cultural, light romantic comedy in which she stars with Matthew Perry. It's a great date movie, so don't miss it. 

Labels: biography, drama, lesbian, romance
Internet Movie Database
Metacritic 61/100
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=69, viewers=74)

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