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on Oct 24, 2012

Biutiful is the fourth feature of Mexican director Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu, whose previous films, Amores Perros21 Grams and Babel established him as an emotionally-charged director of “miserablist” cinema. Biutiful is no less tragic than his other works, but stands alone both structurally and thematically. The film stars Javier Bardem as Uxbal, a man of many professions — involving illegal immigrants, communicating with the dead — working in Barcelona. A father of two and husband of a bipolar drug addict, he tries to maintain a broken family amidst financial struggles and, we find, a terminal illness. On receiving his diagnosis, Uxbal attempts to fulfill his obligations to his business partners and his family — no small task once a tragedy of startling proportions strikes. Biutiful (which was nominated for Best Foreign Film and Best Actor for Bardem at this year’s Oscars) marks Iñárritu’s first effort without his writing partner, Guillermo Arriaga. The result is a story that unfolds linearly and with touches of the supernatural.

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