Beatriz at Dinner is a modern-day allegorical tale that asks some of the following questions: Is it possible to reconcile billionaire-class arrogance with earnest goodness and spirituality? Can a non-privileged, caring individual teach a lesson to a member of the one percent? With a dark undercurrent, Beatriz at Dinner is a film that is both topical and gripping.
Salma Hayek portrays Beatriz, a multi-modality alternative healer who works at a cancer treatment center and lives modestly in Altadena tending to her pet dogs and goat. When a client (tenderly and convincingly played by Connie Britton) schedules a session, Beatriz drives her aging VW to the woman’s gated community in Newport Beach. After the healing work, her car won’t start so Beatriz is invited to stay for an intimate dinner with the husband’s business associates. Over drinks and dinner, Beatriz reveals an obstinate yet principled side to her personality as the other people around the table indulge the self-satisfied, sexist, classist, racist guest of honor Doug Strutt (John Lithgow).
Excellent performances from the entire cast and a tense, unpredictable script keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the film. Devoid of her typical glamour yet always radiant, Salma Hayek exudes passionate integrity. John Lithgow is convincingly cavalier and unapologetic as a ruthless CEO. When he shares with the dinner party a photo of his rhinoceros hunt and kill, Beatriz reacts by declaring, “Killing is not hard, healing is hard.” Later, Lithgow’s character portentously tells her, “The world is dying… so accept it and enjoy yourself.” Their world views collide in every line.
Written by Mike White (School of Rock) and directed by Miguel Arteta, Beatriz at Dinner brings together diverse collaborators and cast for a gorgeously filmed, thought-provoking and unique, must-see film. Opening in LA and NY on June 9.
Karen Henry is an Associate Editor at LA YOGA who volunteers in a variety of capacities for nonprofit organizations and artists around Los Angeles. She practices yoga as a counterbalance to her daily impact sports and is a mother of four grown children who also practice yoga . Now, she’s working on teaching yoga and joy of life to the grandkids!