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Film Studies 101
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Salma Hayek
Alfred Molina
Geoffrey Rush
Ashley Judd.
Directors
Julie Taymor.
Screenwriters
Clancy Sigal
Diane Lake
Gregory Nava
Anna Thomas.
Running Time
118 minutes

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Frida
Entertaining biopic of the cult Mexican artist and female icon with an impressive performance from Salma Hayek


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Plot
Biopic of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, from her days as a student in the 1920s, through a debilitating accident and a tempestuous marriage to fellow painter, Diego Rivera.


Review
Uglying-up with a home-grown moustache may help Salma Hayek in the Oscar running, but her performance as artist Frida Kahlo shouldn't do any harm either. Whether she's joking her way through the effects of a disabling accident, swinging Ashley Judd around the dance floor or trying to justify her marriage to a serial infidel, it's the human side of the painter that we see here.

With its affection for its subject and playful sense of humour, Taymor's film invites sympathy for Frida the woman before Frida the artist. Internal struggles are expressed visually, as they were in the artist's life - already coloured like a Kahlo painting, the film breaks several times for more marked animated tributes to her painting technique. This emphasis on visual style and dramatic events over soul-searching dialogue does, however, create some emotional distance.


Verdict
An entertaining biopic with strong performances, this is a vivid portrait that avoids showiness despite forays into experimental visual styles. TaymorÆs choice not to get right under KahloÆs skin pays tribute to the painterÆs mysterious allure while limit


Reviewed by Anna Smith


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