That Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutuful has proved one of the most divisive films on the Croisette speaks more to this year’s festival being (as some have already alleged) generally ho-hum than to that particular film being anything worth fussing over. Sure, Jeffrey Wells was sufficiently worked up to think Biutiful’s detractors part of some “effete critic” cabal, but really, this is small beer. For my part, I can’t get over the film’s dreadful title, though I admit I’m not totally incurious about the rest. This marks Iñárritu’s first feature effort without a script by longtime collaborator Guillermo Arriaga, who’s inability to write anything other than network narratives (Babel, 21 Grams, et al) started to chafe a long time ago. My modest hope was/is that Iñárritu might prove a different kind of storyteller without him on board. Then there’s the Javier Bardem factor, whose performance here as a struggling ne’er-do-well dad is apparently impossible to discount — at least a few have suggested it’s the only thing that buoys the picture at all. It’s hard to tell from afar, so for now I’m resigned to this promo trailer.
Not a traditional spot, but rather one cooked up for the festival, which lets you dig on a few seconds of Iñárritu directing: “Buscado, Buscando, Buscando….”