Fred’s No Clue Movie Review

Directed by Julie Taymor

    Frida is a movie biopic about the life of artist, Frida Kahlo.  It’s also a career making performance from Salma Hayek, whose biggest roles have mostly been in throwaway comedies and Robert Rodriquez movies.  When I saw her in Mike Figgis’ Timecode, I knew she was making some braver choices, but with this film she really just lets it all out there.

    I was surprised at how much I liked this film.  Film biopics are always a little on the heavy side, not a light afternoon flick.  This film made me laugh and feel sad.  Which is what a good movie should do. 

    I was amazed to learn about Frida Kahlo.  I admit that my exposure to her before this movie was all based on a couple of books I saw at Barnes & Noble in a display.  I learned she was a brave woman.  A courageous painter and a woman strong to her convictions.  She endured enormous pain in her life, both physically and emotionally.  She had a strained relationship for most of her life to fellow artist Diego Rivera.  She even had an affair with Leon Trotsky, the Russian revolutionist.  This film delves into all this and manages to entertain along the way.

    Julie Taymor has created a beautiful film, often taking us in and out of Frida’s paintings.  A wonderful way to transition and offer us a look at many of Frida’s famous work.  I guess Taymor spent a lot of time concerning herself with art direction, or maybe it’s just the way she works.  She’s probably best known as the artist who transformed the Disney animated film, The Lion King, into a dazzling Broadway musical.   

    Yet, this film is all about Ms. Hayek.  She had spear headed this film from start to finish as a producer.  She turned in a wonderful performance.  She manages to display a joy of life that Frida had, while also, showing us how painful her life was.  She was in a car accident in her college years that caused her pain throughout her life.  Salma Hayek portrays this woman as desperate to paint, not something she wanted to do, but had to do.  She offers a courageous performance for us to marvel at.  This must have been a difficult woman to play, with many layers.  She’s also very unapologetic about her life choices, right down to whom she loved.  She basically would make love to whomever she felt like.  I don’t think this woman did anything that she didn’t want to do, or did anything just because someone told her to.  I suspect Ms. Salma Hayek, has many of the same qualities.  She’s a gorgeous woman, who bares a lot of herself in this role.  By a lot, I mean both figuratively and literally.  I see why she was nominated for an Academy Award for this film and deservedly so.

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come back soon, until then, i’ll be at the movies…