Thoughts After “Beatriz at Dinner”

This movie attracted my attention because of the lead actor, Selma Hayek, and surprised me from start to finish.  She was fabulous as expected, but everything else unfolded new, bold, and clear.  It made me laugh out loud at times.  It also filled me with anger, disgust, sadness, shock and, beautifully, when I was laughing, I might be mad or sickened at the same time, (but not in a South Park – I shouldn’t be laughing way – in a looking in the mirror and have no choice to laugh at this kind of way).  This movie was layered yet simple, and provoked a lot of  (well-deserved) response.

There was a part of me that knee jerk reacted to it – the bobble head Buddha, the references to reincarnation, what I had learned in college is a writers biggest mistake – but then the story, the images, the reflections of our world, changed my mind. This is a must see as a conversation starter.  This is a movie, (at a minimum), an American Christian should see with someone else, preferably someone not born here, and start talking.

The honesty reveals a disturbing reality that is an inevitable conclusion without allowing for grace and trust in the truth that all suffering is not what we do alone and is not without purpose.  In the end, (not initially), I adored all the uncomfortable situations the film created and it was very smart, …but it totally missed redemption and hope.  Unfortunately, it seemed to suggest that if you are on the losing team, you will win for losing once you are dead.  This is the only criticism I have of this film.  I also wish there were more Christian films so artfully and thoughtfully done.  At the moment, I can only think of one that was as good.  I hope that changes.

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