Moviecrazed
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FRIDA

"For years, Jennifer Lopez and Madonna were also pushing their own Kahlo projects, so I suppose we should be grateful that Hayek won out, although a Madonna version might well have been deliciously bad...The 'Frida' we have, directed by Julie Taymor, is neither terrible nor excellent...Taymor, who made her movie-directing debut with the startling 'Titus,' takes a disappointingly conventional approach to character... Alfred Molina plays Kahlo's husband, the great muralist Diego Rivera, and Geoffrey Rush, looking like a revolutionary billy goat, plays Trotsky. They could have worked a bit more on their accents." --Peter Rainer, New York


"It's a staid film biography that wants most desperately to be a musical...(The most moving, most memorable scenes are in essence musical numbers, including a torrid tango danced by Ms. Hayek and Ashley Judd that is reason enough to see the movie.)...Ms. Hayek and Mr. Molina are both wonderfully charismatic, but their scenes of recrimination and reconciliation have a dull, actorly flavor that makes the characters seem smaller than life." --A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"The tormented, turbulent and passionate life of legendary painter Frida Kahlo was too big to fill a single canvas...Julie Taymor, an artist with her own fame for stylish and audacious visuals, has knocked herself out condensing the breathless melodrama of that life into a film of overwhelming artistry, beauty and impact...The greatest movie about an artist since Vincente Minnelli grafted the psychological turmoil of Vincent Van Gogh onto the screen in 'Lust for Life'... an artful echo of a lyrical, sensual, voyeuristic, anarchic slapstick tragedy." -- Rex Reed, The New York Observer

"The resemblance to the artist is cosmetically faithful, as is the case with much of this meticulously mounted, exasperatingly well-behaved film, which ticks off Kahlo's lifetime milestones with the dutiful precision of a tax accountant. But it fails to get at the ferocity of the artist and her artifice...the screenplay is rotten, filled with declarations that would make better chapter titles: Frida to Diego, "You've never been my husband"; Diego to Frida, "I'm a beast"...It's incredibly phony, never more so than in scenes featuring the likes of Antonio Banderas as Rivera's artistic and political rival, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Ashley Judd, playing Italian photographer Tina Modotti in flapper clothes and a baffling Ruskie purr." --Manohla Dargis, The Los Angeles Times


"...a biopic in which cinematic storytelling invention can't compete, in the end, with the movie's glossy presentation of clothes, earrings, housewares, politics, sexual liaisons, and tableaux vivants of artists at work. A revolutionary life has rarely felt less edgy, or the biography of an iconoclast more bourgeois...A girl-girl tango scene between Hayek and Ashley Judd as photographer Tina Modotti is stiff with self-regard; a bedroom sex scene between Hayek and Geoffrey Rush as Leon Trotsky is limp with silliness." --Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

"You don't have to be familiar with Kahlo or her work to feel the disconnect between star and subject...Hayek overplays the toughness and edge attributed to Kahlo into a stereotype of the hot, temperamental Latina we used to see played in Westerns by Katy Jurado or Linda Darnell. Mostly, though, Hayek's problem is one of physical miscasting. She's so tiny next to the tall, rotund Molina that she looks like a child in their scenes together. And despite a fake caterpillar brow, she's just not believable as a woman bemoaning her disfigurements." --Jack Mathews, The New York Daily News

"Hayek is surprisingly convincing as whoever it is she's playing... She is less absurd in the role of Kahlo than one might have expected, but there's simply not that much reason to think she's Kahlo...And that is because Taymor, as she proved most pronouncedly in 'Titus,' is a director of startling freshness, visually, but who has virtually no capability, or, perhaps, interest, in creating character or making story." --John Anderson, Newsday