Beatriz At Dinner

Beatriz is a “healer” which is what people call themselves when they branch out from straight up massage. If you offer any two of the following in addition, you too are a practitioner of “holistic medicine”: meditation, yoga, reiki, consulting crystals, reading tea leaves, speaking to auras, tasting colours. Beatriz is all of the above (probably) and proud of it. And so when poor Kathy (Connie Britton) has had a long, stressful mid-afternoon of instructing servants on how to throw this evening’s dinner party, she of course calls her old pal Beatriz (Salma Hayek) to come cure her of tension and aching muscles by honouring the age-old method of rubbing them down with massage oil.

MV5BMzgyYmNkZDAtOTEyYi00YjJkLTljZWMtYTgwNTYwNDczYjgwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjk1Njg5NTA@._V1_That would have made for a boring movie had Beatriz’s car started up as it should and allowed her to drive away afterward, but no. Beatriz’s piece of shit car did not start, and her friend can’t come fix it until much later, and presumably she’s too poor to  have it towed, so Kathy extends a shaky, not-really invitation to dinner party since they’re “practically friends” and Beatriz accepts.

The dinner party is to celebrate some recent success in business: Doug (John Lithgow) is a titan of business and Jeana (Amy Landecker) is his third or fourth wife; Alex (Jay Duplass) is the young lawyer seeing his first taste of real money with this deal, and Shannon (Chloe Sevigny) his wife who could get used to this; and Kathy’s husband Grant (David Warshofsky) is the guy who put them all together. Now, there are two reasons this dinner and therefore this movie is interesting to watch. First, Kathy and Beatriz are not really “friends” and they’re both going to discover that in highly awkward ways. Second, Kathy and her dinner guests are conservatives who maybe sometimes think of themselves as better than that but really aren’t. It’s business (by which I mean money) first. And Beatriz is no wallflower. She’s pretty much the opposite of the kind of seventh wheel you’d want crashing your party. She’s not only going to speak up, she’s going to scream and shout, and maybe even cry.

It’s a pretty timely movie for the Trump era but it IS not a guide on how to survive. Beatriz blows shit up. She’s incendiary. Salma Hayek is fantastic. John Lithgow is fantastic. The only thing that’s not fantastic is the end. You’ll see.


9 thoughts on “Beatriz At Dinner

  1. tubularsock

    Jay, Tubularsock would say that Beatriz At Dinner is one of the best movies in a long time and because of that it seemed to be short lived in the theaters. At least from Tubularsock’s observation.

    At this point in case anyone is reading this Tubularsock wants to point out that this is a SPOILER ALERT so stop reading now and wait until after you see the film.


    Ok, we are all clear. The film did have the class consciousness aspect and that seems to be where everyone paid attention and by doing that missed the major thrust of the movie. And felt the ending was not satisfying.

    Those people missed the major point of the film, in Tubularsock’s opinion.

    Beatriz was not only a healer but more importantly a shaman healer. And that make a huge difference.

    Within the first eight minutes of the film that information was set up for you. She is floating on a river/swamp dreamlike scape and her goat was on the shore.

    The point here is that she was on the “other-side”.

    That scene floated into the altar scene where you see a picture of her goat and the story begins at that point on “this-side”.

    During the entire film at parts she communicates via cell phone to someone and the message is always of longing.

    The encounters happen but it is not until the last ten minutes that the major point is made. Beatriz tells Doug that “she knew him” and Doug doesn’t recall but there is an unvoiced message that Doug took in but blew off.

    The point is that Beatriz was sent to deliver a message to Doug that his actions were destructive to the earth. The acting there shows he gets the message at some level.

    Then the clever distraction kill scene which was just fun but a trick.

    Then Beatriz walks into the ocean, which most viewers of the movie assumed was suicide BUT IT WASN’T! And that was the second “trick” ending. But everyone Tubularsock talked with as well as the movie reviews end there.

    But the closing scene brings up back full circle to the boat back floating on the river/swamp with a woman rowing. Beatriz had returned to the “other-side” after she had delivered her message to Doug. Really, it was a happy ending.

    Remember now, Beatriz was a shaman. And shaman can do shit like that!

    Cheers. Be interested to know what you think, Jay. To Tubularsock the best part seemed to have been missed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. calensariel

    Wow! This sounds like a GNO movie! We had one of those Beatriz gals as part of our group for a long time. SHE finally blew herself up and doesn’t come around anymore! (rolls eyes…)



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