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Past Films

Beatriz at Dinner

  • Starring: Salma Hayek, John Lithgow, Jay Duplass, Chloë Sevigny
  • Director: Miguel Arteta
  • Genre(s): Comedy
  • Rating: NR
  • Running Time: 83 min.

Beatriz (Salma Hayek), an immigrant from a poor town in Mexico, has drawn on her innate kindness to build a career as a health practitioner in Los Angeles. Doug Strutt (John Lithgow) is a cutthroat, self-satisfied billionaire. When these two opposites meet at a dinner party, their worlds collide and neither will ever be the same.

"This might be the best performance Salma Hayek has ever given, her quiet, observant reserve eventually giving way to bewilderment and resolve."
- Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice
"A loaded but effective piece of inspired artistry, including two sharp performances working from Mike White's tight script."
- Nick Allen,
"A small-scale but elegantly deft squirmfest that features a luminous performance by Salma Hayek."
- Owen Gleiberman, Variety
"Together, screenwriter Mike White and his Enlightened director Miguel Arteta have an almost magical way with light-touch verbal sparring, an art that's become lost in today's broad, banter-filled comedies."
- Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out
"As obvious as the movie's intent and execution are, it gnaws at the conscience thanks to the brilliance of the lead performances."
- Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"The real power of "Beatriz at Dinner" is that it isn't about politics but the human heart. Beatriz and Strutt are not arguing legislation; they're arguing two visions of the American dream, two visions of the human soul."
- Barbara VanDenburgh, Arizona Republic
"In a mere 83 minutes, "Beatriz at Dinner" gets close to the heart of the matter. It has the length of a palate cleanser but the weight of a full meal."
- Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"Both Beatriz and Strutt would be cartoons in the hands of other actors, but Hayek and Lithgow give a master class in building characters from the inside out."
- Oliver Jones, New York Observer
"Salma Hayek gives the performance of her career in this stealth weapon of a comedy from director Miguel Arteta and screenwriter Mike White."
- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"The seriousness of its themes in no way detracts from the delight in watching Ms. Hayek and Mr. Lithgow perform their eccentric, intricate dance."
- A.O. Scott, New York Times
"A love story that restores agency to a woman who has lost all, and asks us to take a hard look at our own."
- Ella Taylor, NPR
"This queasily funny and suspenseful movie is more than a smirking exercise in ideological deck stacking, and to praise it for its political relevance would be to understate its subtlety and specificity."
- Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times