• 4 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
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It's easy to see the attraction of a film about Frida Kahlo. The Mexican painter was spirited, rebellious, proudly true to her idiosyncratic talents, and, despite being crippled in a bus accident, she led an unusually eventful life. Just the ingredients for a romantic inspirational drama! Or for a thin string of colourful clichés. That's far too harsh an assessment of Hayek's well meaning hymn to the determination and artistic originality of a national heroine, but it does point up the weaknesses of the film. Notwithstanding an eagerness to display her bust at regular intervals, the actress/producer makes for an efficient lead, and the same is true of Molina's Diego Rivera. Kahlo's relationship with the womanising muralist is the movie's backbone, as opposed to the link between experience and art, which is stated, not dramatised. The script rushes events, races past characters, deploys welcome animation and special effects for dreams, trips abroad and paintings come to life. It also fields irritatingly cute cameos. Those unfamiliar with Kahlo's life and work will find it lively and informative, but depth of character and insights into the creative process aren't part of the hagiographic equation.

By: GA

Release details

Duration: 123 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Julie Taymor
Screenwriter: Anna Thomas, Gregory Nava, Diane Lake, Clancy Sigal
Cast: Mia Maestro
Saffron Burrows
Valeria Golino
Margarita Sanz
Roger Rees
Edward Norton
Amelia Zapata
Antonio Banderas
Ashley Judd
Diego Luna
Alfred Molina
Salma Hayek
Geoffrey Rush
Patricia Reyes Spindola

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Richard N

People love to criticize Frida for being 'anti-feminist', but I disagree. A lot of the film is based around Frida's tumultuous relationship with on again off again husband and painter Diego Rivera, which Alfred Molina does an amazing job of giving charm and sleaze simultaneously. A lot of her life is derived from her relationship, along with her art, and there's so many innovative scenes in here that consistently shifts the medium and makes the film a true work of art. Taymor really managed to figure out how to work Kahlo's body of work into the film, mixing reality and surrealism. It's an aesthetically beautiful film, very bold and keeps you interested throughout, and does a great job of depicting Kahlo's trolley accident, and much like her paintings themselves, the scenes are almost painting-like in their mise en scene. Salma Hayek's performance is Oscar worthy (still can't believe she lost out to Nicole Kidman's prosthetic nose), and ultimately, this is the film that made me want to find out much more about Kahlo and recognize her as more than just 'that Mexican artist with the unibrow', with newfound respect for her.