Am I the only one who sensed trouble when the painfully methodical spacing and timing of the opening titles suggested the heaviest, most medicinal tragedy of this or any other year?
An overloaded agony parade of a film that's such a grim march to devastation that it should be hard to watch. And, OK, it is. But with Bardem at its center, it's like watching a lush train wreck.
Looking for a dark and depressing movie for the holidays? You'll find it in Biutiful, the riveting work of two talented Spaniards: director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and actor Javier Bardem.
With the exception of an otherworldly prologue that remains mysterious well into the film, Biutiful is an unusually linear feature for Inarritu, but no less involving or challenging than his previous works Babel, 21 Grams and Amores Perros.