Miguel Arteta’s Beatriz at Dinner premiered at Sundance, where star Salma Hayek argued that it was the perfect film for our current political climate. It features, after all, a clash between an earnest Mexican healer in touch with nature and a cynical, wealthy, white man. “When I came to the United States a long time ago,” Beatriz (Hayek) begins at one point before Doug (John Lithgow) cuts her off. “Did you come here legally?” he interjects —a question that stuns her. (Spoiler alert: yes, she did come legally, thank you very much.)
As the trailer suggests, an ostentatious California estate (seriously, check out that pool and that view!) will play backdrop to a frank and uncomfortable dinner that you wish you could look away from. Except, part of the fun is not being able to. You quickly get a sense that Beatriz has stumbled onto a world of oblivious rich people who have very little in common with her, and Hayek is getting some of the best reviews of her career for her portrayal of the character.
Cathy (Connie Britton), who invited Beatriz along, couldn’t have foreseen how the dinner party would soon be derailed by such a nice gesture. The perma-smiles and quaint pleasantries in the early evening (“This woman is a saint,” says Cathy as she introduces her) soon give way to more confrontational barbs about politics, the economy, and the utter privilege Beatriz sees around her. Add in a string of gratingly Cali wealthy types (played by Chloë Sevigny, David Warshofsky, Amy Landecker, and Jay Duplass) and you’re bound to feel Hayek’s Beatriz is almost too patient with these dinner guests.
Hayek looks in fine form here. But don’t take it from us, check her out in the full trailer for Beatriz at Dinner below.
Beatriz at Dinner premieres June 9th, 2017