I generally stay away from watching foreign films. I don't particularly like watching movies where I have to stare at the bottom of the screen because I can't understand the words that are coming out of the people's mouths. But subtitles are a heck of a lot better than poor attempts at dubbing films. But Biutiful was one of those movies that piqued my interest with Javier Bardem in the starring role and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu directing.
Quite honestly, I didn't know what to expect. The trailer doesn't seem to tell you a whole lot, although it makes much more sense after you've sat through 2.5 hours of Uxbal(lead character)'s life spiraling out of control in a downward race to devastation and despair. Bardem's portrayal of Uxbal is flawless and is absolutely the saving grace to this otherwise depressing film. In an otherwise brutal depiction of how devastating the world can be to a person and their family, Bardem's eyes alone tell the tale of a man's love for his family and his struggle to set things right.
But unfortunately, Inarritu tries too hard. Perhaps there are things in Spanish culture I'm missing, but there were so many parts of the movie that I found were absolutely unnecessary. There were storylines that had no bearing on the main storyline itself, as well as relationships inserted seemingly for the sole reason of making the audience uncomfortable. In an otherwise straightforward and painfully beautiful story about a man and his family, these scenes dragged the movie on, and made the movie somewhat arduous to watch.