Foreign films with subtitles are probably the most difficult to watch, the least appreciated and sometimes overlooked during the award season as a result of the language barrier.
This to me was the case with Biutiful. A film in Spanish with English subtitles. Although the story beautifully told and well acted by Javier Bardem, I felt the fact since I was so focused on the subtitles, I somehow missed Bardem’s performance. Hence, I was satisfied with the fact, Collin Firth won for best actor at the Golden Globes and Oscars for 2010.
I rented the film a week ago, after seeing it in the theatre last year, just to dissect its contents once again and fairly judge the performance Javier Bardem gave. Since I had trouble the first time around, the exercise was most challenging and somewhat rewarding. I also discovered most of the awards granted to the film were from Spanish award nominations, which makes sense because it was easy to interpret the film in its proper language. Check here to see for yourself.
So, bottom line is the film Biutiful is truly a great film and Javier Bardem is, once again, at his best, portraying a distraught single father, battling cancer and coping with the everyday life in the slums of Barcelona.
Let me say that the film does take alot out of a person while watching it, and if the subtitles didn’t get in the way of a solid interpretation, then the film would have left a more lasting impression on audiences outside Spanish speaking countries. In, my opinion, although The King’s Speech was a remarkable film, Biutiful was most definitely better.
If you haven’t seen it, please do so on rental.