Frida

Frida

4.7 17
Director: Julie Taymor

Cast: Julie Taymor, Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Geoffrey Rush

     
 

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Miramax took a famous painter and turned her art and life into the stuff of which good films are made. The biopic Frida, starring Salma Hayek, is just as enjoyable on the small screen as it was in theaters, if not more so. The packed, educational, two-disc DVD is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, complete with razor-sharp colors and realistic fleshSee more details below

Overview

Miramax took a famous painter and turned her art and life into the stuff of which good films are made. The biopic Frida, starring Salma Hayek, is just as enjoyable on the small screen as it was in theaters, if not more so. The packed, educational, two-disc DVD is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, complete with razor-sharp colors and realistic flesh tones. The 5.1 Dolby Digital track is adequate for this dialog-driven movie. No big sound effects were present to test the audio, yet Elliot Goldenthal's score sounds amazing. French is the alternate-language track, while subtitles are in Spanish. On the first disc, the "Conversation with Salma Hayek" provides insight into the actress' eight-year struggle to get Frida to the big screen. Director Julie Taymor provides an extremely detailed and pleasant audio commentary, complete with plenty of artistic inspirations and explanations. Composer Goldenthal's commentary on the musical aspect of the film is also worth listening to. This disc wraps up with some trailers and promo fluff. On disc two, Taymor is interviewed in two segments: a Bill Moyers interview and the American Film Institute's question-and-answer session. Both offer plenty of insight into the director, the cast, and the film in general. Chavela Vargas, singer and Frida Kahlo's lover, is interviewed in a moderately long and rather rambling segment. Three more brief, yet entertaining, music-based extras follow: "The Voice of Lila Downs," "The Music of Frida," and "Salma's Recording Session." "The Portrait of an Artist" is a traditional, behind-the-scenes fluff piece almost required on all DVDs today. It's worth watching, but the more in-depth information is found in the five featurettes. The first of those is "The Vision of Frida." This brief segment deals with the film's cinematography. "The Design of Frida" and "A Walk Through the Real Locations" both deal with Kahlo's art and recreating a historical setting in the film. "Amoeba Proteus" is about special effects, as is "The Brothers Quay." Finally, there is a fact-filled segment on Kahlo facts and trivia. No DVD-ROM extras are included.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
The life and work of one of Mexico's greatest artists is celebrated in Frida, the lush biographical film from acclaimed stage director Julie Taymor. Beginning in 1922, the film follows the life of painter Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek) from her days as a student to her death in 1954. At first glance, Kahlo's life seems one of suffering, dominated by lifelong medical problems that would eventually result in amputations, and by a chronically unfaithful husband in Mexican muralist Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina). Yet Kahlo is no martyr; the film fashions a buoyant, life-affirming saga out of her struggles. This Kahlo is an energetic, irrepressible, and triumphant spirit, a strong-willed woman who faces the world with eyes wide open. Hayek's performance brilliantly captures Kahlo's expansive emotional palette -- the exuberance, despair, rage, and feisty rebelliousness that was so often reflected in her work -- and she earned an Academy Award nomination for the portrayal. As an effective counterpoint, Molina's Rivera is surprisingly sympathetic in his big-hearted childishness and insatiable appetites. Since her death, Kahlo has evolved into a sort of feminist icon, and Frida makes it easy to see why. It's a triumphant testament to the beauty and genius of a great woman, and it wowed Academy voters, earning nominations in six categories. In addition to Hayek's nod, Frida was recognized in for its art direction, costume design, and makeup, winning the latter category. Composer Elliot Goldenthal's splendid score, steeped in romantic and folkloric themes, triumphed in that category; although his collaboration with Taymor, "Burn It Blue," came up short in the competition for Best Song.
All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
The life of an uncompromising, iconoclastic artist has never seemed as rote and inevitable as it does in Julie Taymor's Frida, an intermittently engaging but wholly ordinary biography that wouldn't be out of place premiering on a basic-cable channel. Ticking off the events in Kahlo's life like a grade-school filmstrip, Frida's screenplay -- credited to no less than four writers, not including the purported rewrites from Ed Norton -- is full of clumsy passage-of-time indicators and halting, expository dialogue. Luckily, the performers manage to bring it alive somewhat: Though notably lacking in the kind of mythic swagger Kahlo requires, Salma Hayek digs into her long-gestating "role of a lifetime" with vigor. Better yet is Alfred Molina's Diego Rivera, who threatens to swallow the movie whole (both figuratively and literally). To her credit, Taymor attempts to infuse Frida with the kind of broad, expressionistic strokes she lent 2000's Titus -- the movie is nothing if not lush. Cinematographer Rodrigo Pietra renders Mexico as a paradise of reds, blues, and greens, playing up the contrasts between Kahlo's homeland and the steely, blue-gray New York sequences. But however brilliant they often are, Taymor's directorial flourishes are just that, and Frida -- which by all accounts could've been as daring as Vincent and Theo or Before Night Falls -- never rises above standard bio-pic fare.
Washington Post - Stephen Hunter
Endlessly interesting. It's about people who thought ideas and art mattered, which makes it a rarity today.
Variety
Salma Hayek makes the character an icon of female independence, courage and nonconformity, forecasting special appeal for women viewers. Deborah Young
New York Post
The most effective moments in Taymor's gorgeous, surprisingly romantic Frida are those that evoke the visual world from which Kahlo's work was formed or the paintings themselves, often using clever animation and other special effects. Jonathan Foreman

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/10/2003
UPC:
0786936180992
Original Release:
2002
Rating:
R
Source:
Miramax
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
2:03:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Salma Hayek conversation; Julie Taymor feature commentary; Elliot Goldenthal selected-scenes commentary; AFI Julie Taymor Q & A; Bill Moyers' Julie Taymor interview; Chavela Vargas interview; The vision, design, and music of Frida; Salma Hayek's recording sessions; Real locations of Frida Kahlo's life & art; Portrait of an artist; 2 visual effects pieces: "Amoeba Proteus" and "The Brothers Quay"; Frida Kahlo facts; The voice of Lila Downs; French language track; Spanish subtitles; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound; Widescreen version enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Salma Hayek Frida Kahlo
Alfred Molina Diego Rivera
Geoffrey Rush Leon Trotsky
Ashley Judd Tina Modotti
Antonio Banderas David Alfaro Siqueiros
Edward Norton Nelson Rockefeller
Valeria Golino Lupe Marin
Mía Maestro Cristina Kahlo
Roger Rees Guillermo Kahlo
Patricia Reyes Spindola Matilde Kahlo
Saffron Burrows Gracie
Margarita Sanz Natalia Trotsky
Diego Luna Alejandro Gomez Arias

Technical Credits
Julie Taymor Director
Mark Amin Executive Producer
Françoise Bonnot Editor
Lindsay Flickinger Producer
Rodrigo García Screenwriter
Brian Gibson Executive Producer
Mark Gill Executive Producer
Elliot Goldenthal Score Composer
Sarah Green Producer
Nancy Hardin Producer
Salma Hayek Producer
John Jackson Makeup
Diane Lake Screenwriter
Jill Sobel Messick Executive Producer
Gregory Nava Screenwriter
Felipe Fernandez del Paso Production Designer
Margaret Rose Perenchio Executive Producer
Jay Polstein Producer
Rodrigo Prieto Cinematographer
Regina Reyes Makeup
Santiago Núñez Rojo Sound Mixer
Ann Ruark Co-producer
Clancy Sigal Screenwriter
Amy Slotnick Executive Producer
Roberto Sneider Producer
Lizz Speed Producer
Anna Thomas Screenwriter
Bernardo Trujillo Art Director
Julie Weiss Costumes/Costume Designer

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Feature
1. Memories
2. "I Always Wanted a Son"
3. The Accident
4. Plans for Recovery
5. Diego's Compliments
6. Another Pretty Girl
7. "Comrades, Colleagues and Friends"
8. Diego and Frida
9. Diego's Ways
10. More Affection in a Handshake
11. The Invasion of Gringo-landia
12. Miracles and Tragedy
13. The Price of Integrity
14. Portrait With Cropped Hair
15. Offering Asylum
16. Alone in Pain
17. Without Loyalty
18. From France
19. Imprisoned
20. Broken Column
21. To Frida!
22. Burn it Blue

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