2 hours, 28 minutes
R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.
for disturbing images, language, some sexual content, nudity and drug use.
Javier Bardem ...
Maricel Álvarez ...
Hanaa Bouchaib ...
Guillermo Estrella ...
Eduard Fernández ...
Cheikh Ndiaye ...
Diaryatou Daff ...
(Javier Bardem) is a kind of mafia agent on the streets of Barcelona, working for a pair of Chinese bosses. He imports cheap Chinese labor who make and sell knock-off handbags and also do construction work. Uxbal has no problem with the way the workers are
treated, despite the fact that they're locked into a large room at night and awakened with shouts at
6.30 each morning. He arranges for his Senegalese immigrants to sell
their bags on the street though he must be careful that they do not get involved in drug trafficking. But, he also pays off the police to look the other
way. He also
has a gift: he can conjure up spirits of the dead, making additional money in
funeral homes where he discusses mourner's loved ones’ wishes.
Though often seen with piles of money, Uxbal is not a particularly happy man. His greatest joy is his children: the cute seven-year-old Mateo who has an older sister. His estranged wife, Marambra (Maricel Álvarez) is a bipolar drug addict who drinks and sleeps with Uxbal’s brother, Tito (Eduard Fernández). Then suddenly, Uxbal is diagnosed with metastatic
prostate cancer and given only two months to live. His spiritual
adviser warns him that “chemotherapy is poison,” and urges him to make
As days go by, Uxbal’s face becomes sweaty, his beard scruffier, his
mouth turns increasingly downward as he contemplates his demise. He is determined to make amends
for his criminal life that has caused pain to some, though he is adored
throughout by his two kids. Rarely raising his voice, he changes what
he can, providing great help to a Senegalese woman, Ige (Diaryatou Daff)
who is carrying a baby, whose husband, Ekweme (Cheikh Nadiaye), returns
to his native land urging his wife to remain in Spain despite her view
that as an African she does “not belong.”
Biutiful, directed Alejandro González Iñárritu ("Babel) is a touchingly observed look at the sad lives of migrant workers, generally
exploited and ever-fearful of arrest, but its is basically an intense character study of a man in deep decline. Javier Bardem has already earned a Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival; but that surely won't be his last.