“Beatriz at Dinner” is a short movie, running at 83 minutes, but it’s also an emotional movie that shows us the black sheep of a group of people. This black sheep is an environmentalist and animal lover, while the rest are arrogant and spoiled. It’s a mini representation of how our planet is dying, and these people think mansions and successful business deals can keep them safe. This woman thinks otherwise.
The animal lover I am referring to is Beatriz (Salma Hayek) a massage therapist at a cancer treatment center. She is depressed because one of her two goats has been murdered, and she looks at every polluting company with distain.
She heads over to the mansion of Kathy (Connie Britton) and Grant (David Warshofsky), whom she became friends with while treating their cancerous daughter, in order to give Kathy a massage right before her husband’s dinner party. Beatriz’s car break down, so Kathy invites her to stay for dinner, until her guys comes to fix it.
Among the guests is Doug Strutt (John Lithgow), a business mogul and professional hunter, whom Beatriz finds familiar. He is in denial, but she also knows he owns hotels, one of which cost her family their jobs. And when he shows his friends a picture of the rhino he shot for sport, she is repulsed. And get ready for the rant she makes against him near the end.
The ending left us guessing on what Beatriz was doing. I won’t spoil it, but it did leave me in question , too.
Asside from that, “Beatriz at Dinner” is arguably director Michael Arteta’s best film of the new decade. He and writer Mike White really helped us ease the pain of the harsh world we are living in, what with Global Warming and all; and they add a heroine, who is sick and tired of it. You couldn’t have asked for better performances from Hayek and Lithgow. As a matter of fact, the cast (also including Jay Duplass, Chloe Sevigny, and Amy Landecker) is fantastic. As questioning as its closing is, you will feel this woman’s pain and suffering. I did, too.