Beatriz at Dinner is a 2017 comedy-drama film directed by Miguel Arteta from a screenplay by Mike White. It stars Salma Hayek, John Lithgow, Connie Britton, Jay Duplass, Amy Landecker, Chloë Sevigny and David Warshofsky.
An American-Canadian co-production, the film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on June 9, 2017, by Roadside Attractions and FilmNation Entertainment, and in Canada on June 16, 2017, by Elevation Pictures.
At an elegant dinner party in a swanky hilltop home, conversation between a soft-spoken holistic healer and a hard-nosed businessman explodes into a bitter clash of cultures in Beatriz at Dinner, the latest provocative film from director Miguel Arteta and screenwriter Mike White. Exploring the widening gulf between the world’s haves and have-nots with fierce insight and unexpected humor, Beatriz at Dinner addresses contemporary controversies, from economic inequality and conservation to the necessity of simple human kindness.
Beatriz (Salma Hayek), a self-effacing and spiritual immigrant from Mexico, has spent her adult life caring for the sick while neglecting herself. When her car breaks down and she is stranded at a client’s luxurious Newport Beach home overnight, her well-meaning employer Kathy (Connie Britton) insists she join them for a dinner party that evening. At an intimate and sumptuous celebration of her husband’s latest business venture, Beatriz is introduced to Doug Strutt (John Lithgow), a ruthless billionaire real-estate developer. She listens uncomfortably while Doug brags about his aggressive business tactics, but when he boasts about shooting a rhino in Africa, she can no longer hold her tongue. As opposing worldviews collide over a dinner table, Beatriz’s pent up outrage spills out in a way that surprises even herself.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 76%, based on 88 reviews, with a weighted average of 6.5/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, “Beatriz at Dinner offers timely social commentary enlivened by powerful, layered performances from Salma Hayek and John Lithgow.” On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film holds a score of 68 out of 100, based on 36 reviews, indicating “generally favorable reviews”.
Owen Gleiberman of Variety gave the film a positive review, calling the film a “small-scale but elegantly deft squirmfest that features a luminous performance by Salma Hayek.” Eric Kohn of Indiewire.com also gave the film a positive review, writing: “White’s script is well crafted as a grim chamber piece, but it falls short of developing its central tension beyond its initial implications.”
Leslie Felperin of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a negative review, saying the film is a “flawed work, too broad and scattershot to skewer its deserving targets with the precision necessary for the task.”
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