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Beatriz at Dinner

"Hayek turns Beatriz into her own breed of wonder woman, Lithgow’s Strutt is definitely a super villain of sorts and their head-to-head battle is clearly worth seeing even if, in real life, it has only begun." - RogerEbert.com

"Beatriz (Salma Hayek) is a deeply spiritual massage therapist and healer, and about the last person you’d expect to meet at a swanky dinner party held in a luxurious hilltop home. So she’s a bit taken aback when her client Cathy (Connie Britton) invites her to just such an affair.

"From a practical standpoint, it just makes sense: Beatriz’s car has broken down, and she has accepted Cathy’s offer to stay overnight. But as a guest, she’s definitely out of her element — a fact that becomes all too obvious when the dinner begins and real-estate mogul Doug Strutt (John Lithgow) dominates the conversation.

"Strutt is a blowhard who boasts about his business deals and seems to have no ethical or moral boundaries. Even more troubling, he seems to be unaware that such boundaries could possibly matter.

"Beatriz is mortified by Strutt’s lack of human decency, but under the circumstances she hesitates to confront him. Still, he strikes her as hauntingly familiar.

"The timely comedy 'Beatriz at Dinner' questions the truth of the American dream. Working from a screenplay by frequent collaborator Mike White, director Miguel Arteta ('Chuck & Buck,' 'The Good Girl,' HBO's 'Enlightened') deftly balances subtle humor with sharp observations about class, wealth and power. And he has the confidence to go with an ending that’s as memorable as it is enigmatic.

"In her best role since 'Frida', Hayek is terrific as a woman who finds her values under attack. It’s a performance equally informed by reflection and rage. And Lithgow transcends caricature to portray a borderline sociopath who simply can’t understand why anyone would object to his brutally heartless agenda.

"'Beatriz at Dinner' is a meal of a film, with plenty to chew on." - St. Louis Dispatch

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