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An holistic medicine woman spends her life absorbing the pain of all those unfortunates that she comes in contact with while attempting to heal them. She is invited to a dinner party by a client/friend when her car breaks down putting the hostess in the awkward position of having Beatriz join a dinner party with people whose lives are foreign to hers and she begins her judgement of them all. She is self absorbed and incapable of self healing. She forces her opinions on the group and for such a healer as herself has no difficulty inflicting violence on the group as a whole and finally on herself. Written by
Jay Duplass and Amy Landecker both co-star in the Amazon Original TV series Transparent (2014) See more »
Beatriz drives from Santa Monica south to Newport Beach, but we see her driving on the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills, which is many miles northwest not only of Santa Monica but Los Angeles proper. See more »
Greetings again from the darkness. The movie industry frequently sources societal worries, concerns, issues and hot topics. It's been less than 6 months, but here come the anti-Trump movies. Of course some will have clever disguises for their message, while others will slap us across the face. This re-teaming of The Good Girl director Miguel Arteta and writer Mike White actually uses both approaches.
Salma Hayek stars as Beatriz, a masseuse and holistic healer, who comes awfully close to being an angel on earth unless she's guzzled a bit too much white wine. Beatriz fights southern California traffic in her clunky VW as she rushes from her gig at the cancer center to Cathy's (Connie Britton) Orange County cliffside mansion. See, Cathy is hosting a dinner party for her husband's (David Warshofsky) business associates and she simply must have her massage prior to such a stressful event after all, she did plan the menu. When Beatriz's car stalls in Cathy's driveway, she is invited to stay for the dinner party.
Things get awkward once the actual guests arrive. Alex (Jay Duplass) and his wife Shannon (Chloe Sevigny) are the young, entitled types so enticed by the fancy house and global traveling lifestyles on which they are on the brink. It should be noted that Mr. Duplass cleans up nicely and Ms. Sevigny spends much of the movie smiling a look for which she's not normally associated. The real squirming occurs once Doug Strutt (John Lithgow) and his shallow third wife Jenna (Amy Landecker, "Transparent") arrive.
Beatriz and Strutt are polar opposites with contrasting lifestyles and character. She is a mystical presence with a deep connection to Mother Earth and all living beings. He is the Trump-like figure charismatic, manipulating and laser-focused on the brass ring. She coddles her pet goat in her bedroom to protect it from a crazy neighbor, while he ignores the rare birds nesting on the valuable land he wants scraped for his newest development.
It's by no means a superhero movie, but Beatriz is presented as a Mexican-born working class (minimal make-up, functional clothing and shoes) Wonder Woman, while Strutt is the ultra villain out to destroy the planet, one rhinoceros at a time. She views him as "The Source" of Earth's pain, while he tries to laugh her off as a novelty act. It's Cathy and her husband who are most taken aback by the direct words of Beatriz, as they have considered her a "family friend" since she helped their daughter through a health scare. How dare she ruin their dinner party! There is a beautiful aerial shot of the Orange County mega-mansions, but most of the uncomfortable moments are derived through the ongoing duel of angelic Beatriz vs. the poisonous topics of politics and profit. There is no subtlety in the message, but having two talented actors go head to head, does make it more palatable.
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