Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (Film Thoughts: Beatriz At Dinner)

BEATRIZ_046-e1497039599437One of the blurbs used for ‘Beatriz at Dinner’ is the quote: “The first great film of the Trump era,” and while that may be true or not, there are a lot of things in this film that says things about the times we live in right now. Salma Hayek plays Beatriz here, a massage therapist/healer who gets ‘stranded’ at her rich client’s mansion in Orange County, California. She gets invited for dinner at said client, Kathy’s and her husband (Connie Britton and David Warshofsky) We then see right away that Beatriz is out of place once the guests arrive. One one side are members of The Real Housewives of Orange County, and on the other rich mogul husbands. Beatriz thinks she recognizes one of them, Douglas Strutt, (John Lithgow) a ruthless real estate developer who destroys natural habitats for hotel and golf courses, hunts in Africa, and is merciless – reminds you of someone yet? The vagueness here is not really masked, and we get to see the good and the bad. But there are no angels here – Beatriz is pushy and talks out of turn, and is passionate about what she believes in:  everything that Strutt doesn’t. There is a delicious mouse and cat play between Hayak and Lithgow, and whose side you take depends on whether you are deplorable or not. There are some big things to think about here –  greed,  politics, nature, even good manners and social etiquette. The ending is a bit strange, but not unreal, and I wish it was more ambiguous, so viewers can be left thinking, not seething. This is a great little film with big things to say.

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