Movie Review: Beatriz at Dinner

The film begins on a melancholy note.

Beatriz (played by Salma Hayek) is a holistic healer and masseuse, who lives a quiet life in California, surrounded by her pets and appreciative clients. But not all is well in her world. An adolescent client is dying, and a neighbor has cruelly strangled her pet goat.

Feeling out of sorts, Beatriz heads out to an affluent neighborhood to provide a massage for Cathy (Connie Britton). When Beatriz’s car breaks down, leaving her stranded for several hours, she reluctantly accepts a dinner party invitation from Cathy.

One of the guests, Doug Strutt (John Lithgow) mistakes Beatriz for a maid. The evening goes downhill from there. The belligerent billionaire dominates the conversation, boasting about his business acumen and game hunting, while the other wealthy guests curry his favor.

Having consumed more wine than usual, Beatriz shares her more liberal beliefs and engages in debate with Doug. A tense, uncomfortable mood envelopes the group and Beatriz eventually leaves the table. To everyone’s shock and disappointment, she later returns to sing.

At that point, I would have expected a more dramatic turn of events. Instead, the film veers in an unusual direction and then ends abruptly…too abruptly after only eighty-three minutes. Unsettled, I left the theater with many unanswered questions about Beatriz, her relationships, and her state of mind.


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3 responses to “Movie Review: Beatriz at Dinner

  1. I saw a poster for this movie this week, while I was seeking escapism in Wonder Woman! I’m finding that I go to movies that are fun and escapist more than challenging. Do you recommend it?

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