Nominated for six 2002 Academy Awards(R), including Salma Hayek for Best Actress, FRIDA is the triumphant motion picture about an exceptional woman who lived an unforgettable life! A product of humble beginnings, Frida Kah... more »lo (Hayek) earns fame as a talented artist with a unique vision. And from her enduring relationship with her mentor and husband, Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina -- CHOCOLAT), to her scandalous affairs, Frida's uncompromising personality would inspire her greatest creations! Also starring Antonio Banderas (SPY KIDS), Ashley Judd (KISS THE GIRLS), Edward Norton (RED DRAGON), and Geoffrey Rush (QUILLS).« less
Gloria B. (glowbird) from SPOKANE, WA Reviewed on 2/24/2019...
Many of these excellent reviews detail the movie itself, and Hayek's performance. I only would add that in Julie Taymor's directorial hands, the film is vibrant and steeped in magical realism, at times. I am as much a fan of Taymor's films as I am of Hayek's performances in film, that began with Frida (2002) on both counts. This film is permanently on my keeper shelf, as well as other films by Taymor: Titus (1999, Across the Universe (2007, The Tempest (2010), A Midsummer Night's Dream (2014).
From Wikipedia, "[Taymor's] film Frida about revered Mexican artist Frida Kahlo was nominated for five Academy awards, and her '1960's Beatles jukebox musical' Across the Universe won approval from both Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney. These films developed her reputation for respectful handling of the sensitive legacy of artists amongst their fans."
Please skip over the unintended slight of the next reviewer (the film wasn't about 'communism' but the painter's life) and move on to the detailed reviews of others with more insight on the actors, singers, and Kahlo's life, and stormy marriage.
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Mark T. (THEBLUEMAX) from ATOKA, TN Reviewed on 3/8/2011...
An embracing celebration of Communism through the life of a famous male and female artist. A must see for all Progressive Liberals.
1 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Canes N. from WALLACE, NC Reviewed on 8/2/2010...
This was a very informative and sensitive celebration of the artist's life.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Liz F. (monkeygirl) from INDIANAPOLIS, IN Reviewed on 5/5/2010...
This is something that overwhelms beyond excellence in this film!
Based on true memoirs of the Mexican artist's traumatizing life. It is amazing how much beauty, drama and passion fills this movie till the end. I feel that the artist was honored by this movie. Her artwork was very talented and unique as she bases it upon reality in a form only she can see from her heart.
This is a must-see, if you haven't seen this - - what are you waiting for?
One film that will be permanently affixed in my collection.
Frida Kahlo is definitely a true painter, one I look up to as an artist myself! :)
4 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Deborah A. from SARASOTA, FL Reviewed on 1/7/2010...
Excellent portrayal of the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, recounting her tragic accident and tumultuous marriage to Diega Rivera. At times, the movie itself is depicted in a surrealist manner incorporating her artistic style as part of the film.
4 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Leigh P. (Leigh) from DECATUR, GA Reviewed on 11/14/2007...
Just beautiful! The living pictures, the colors...such a great story of this woman's sad life and the tragedies she had to overcome. I especially enjoyed the chronology of her art as it mirrored her life (or the other way around if you choose).
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Passion and color
Joseph Haschka | Glendale, CA USA | 11/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"FRIDA, with Salma Hayek in the title role, is a vibrant celebration of the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), and an unsparing look at her tumultuous, passionate marriage to the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina). Another major thread is the involvement of both with the Communist Party. In the latter half of the film, Geoffrey Rush makes an appearance as the exiled Leon Trotsky running from Stalin's death squads.Hayek's performance is the finest I've seen by an actress so far in 2002. An Oscar nomination is surely in the cards. Though I understand that FRIDA uncovers nothing new about the life of Kahlo not already known by devotees of her work, the film was a total revelation for me who knew nothing about the artist. And Costuming and Make-up built on Hayek's natural appearance to create the spitting image of the real Frida (whose photo I've just seen on the Web). Visually, the film is a riot of color. I especially liked those scenes where the viewers' eyes are drawn to a brightly costumed Frida set against surroundings colored with contrasting sepia and/or pastel tones.My only picky-picky complaint about FRIDA is its treatment of Kahlo's physical condition after the horrific 1925 bus accident that left her with multiple fractures of her pelvis, spine, ribs and leg, and which necessitated over 30 follow-up operations in her lifetime. The visual force of her paintings is generated both by her complex emotional life as well as the terrible physical pain she constantly suffered. Yet in the film, between that time she learns to walk again without a crutch and much later when she climbs an Inca pyramid with Trotsky, there's absolutely no hint in Hayek's portrayal that the artist was in any way physically debilitated beyond an inability to bear children. Where was the stiffness of movement, or the inevitable grimaces of pain? At one point, Kahlo is shown dancing with the fluidity of perfect health. As one afflicted with yet only mild arthritis in the lower back, I found this aspect of Salma's characterization perhaps unreal. However, this is a trivial hiccup in an otherwise superb performance."
A work of art, a piece of history
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 11/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the best artist biopic I have seen, and it's a remarkable achievement for Salma Hayek, and director Julie Taymor.
Based ( with certain fictionalizations) on the excellent Hayden Herrera biography, the re-creation of Mexico in the first half of the 20th century is a marvel.
The cast is wonderful. Hayek is perfect as the petite Frida, and Alfred Molina so believable as Rivera. There are small parts filled in by Edward Norton, Ashley Judd, and Antonio Banderas, and with Geoffrey Rush as Trotsky.
I especially like the acclaimed Welsh actor, Roger Rees, as Guillermo, Frida's father, and beautiful Valeria Golino, as Rivera's ex-wife.The soundtrack by Elliot Goldenthal (Taymor's husband) is terrific, full of traditional Mexican songs that add so much to this film.
The magnificent Lila Downs sings several songs (she is briefly seen in 3 of them), and among them is a signature song for her, "La Llorona"...a second version of this song is sung by the legendary Costa Rican star of years gone by, Chavela Vargas, and another treat is the voice of Caetano Veloso in the final end title song.Perhaps my favorite part of this film are the "living paintings". Innovative and spectacular, I think Frida would have loved this added dimension to her work. The film ends with the final words from her diary: "I hope the exit is joyful--and I hope never to come back--Frida"."
Salma Hayek's Dream Came True!
Wing Lee | Toronto, Ontario | 04/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have seen Frida five times at the cinemas, and got the DVD as a gift. I must say that this is by far the most visually stunning, inspirational, and emotionally impacting film I have ever seen. Before this movie came out, I went the Vancouver Art Gallery to see some of Frida Kahlo's paintings and saw the documentary of her life. I was very fascinated by several of paintings, but I didn't get to see The Two Fridas or the paintinngs with the monkeys. I was moved to tears by the documentary of her life, and I instantly became a fan. I then bought the novel based on her life, and read it before the movie came out. I was dying to see the movie.
This beautiful biopic is directed by the Julie Taymor, whose film Titus was an equally visual feast. It's a dream come true for the Oscar nominated Salma Hayek, who had spent more that seven years trying to get this movie made. It was a good thing that Madonna and Jennifer Lopez didn't get to do it, because they wouldn't be suitable to play Frida. Salma Hayek gave the performance of her career, and she actually hadn't done anything great before this movie, except for In The Times Of The Butterflies, which also costarred Mia Maestro who played her sister in both movies. Even though Salma lost the award to the overrated Nicole Kidman(The Hours), Frida still won two out of the six nominations. The music composed by Elliot Goldenthal trully capture the spirit of Frida and Mexico. Some of the songs are sung by Lila Downs, and Chavela Vargas. Burn It Blue heard at the end of the film is so beatiful. I even bought the soundtrack. Salma Hayek had more than fifty costumes here, designed by Julie Weiss on a shoestring budget. She made Hayek looked stunningly beautiful and striking, especially the photo shoot for the Paris Vogue cover, and the scene when she steps into her painting The Two Fridas.
This movie chronicles the life and times of Frida and Diego Rivera(played by the underrated Alfred Molina), a womanizing fellow artist, mentor, and husband. Frida had endured a great deal of physical, emotional, and spiritual pain, and she survived, because she was strong and self-absorbing, and she transcend her life's most unforgetable moments onto the cavas in the form of surrealism that's autobiographical. From the bus accident that left her crippled for life to her stormy marriage to Rivera, to miscarriage, to international stardom, to heartaches of failed marriage and distant from her parents, to betrayed by her sister....and then there's the self-destructive behaviours(alcohol addiction and promiscuous sex with men and women). Life without Diego was meaningless to her at times. She intensionally had an affair with Leon Trotsky(a Russian Communist in exile played Geoffrey Rush) to provoke or repay Diego for his infidelity. She still loved him even when they were separated for a period of time, leaving her financially and physically devastated, that's when she painted her best work including The Two Fridas, which was one of the high points in the film. The reconcilation and remarriage of Frida and Diego was a heartfelt experience.
The supporting cast are all superb. Alfred Molina was overlooked by the Oscar, he should've been nominated for best supporting actor, even though he doesn't look a whole lot like the actual Diego Rivera. I thought Valeria Golino was very good too. She played Diego's ex-wife, and she stole scene in this movie. Mia Maestro was great as Christina Kahlo, she was seduced by Diego to bed when she posed for his paintings. The affair broke Frida's heart. I also enjoyed Patricia Reyes Spindola's portrayal of Mrs. Kahlo. She was always negative about the choices Frida made in love and career. As for the big-star cameros which including Antonio Banderas(David Siqueiros), Ashley Judd(Tina Modotti), and Salma's ex-boyfriend Edward Norton(Nelson Rockefeller) who co-wrote the screenplay, I loved Judd's performance the most. Her sexy "lesbian" dance number with Salma Hayek was quite a treat.
Salma Hayek gave a mesmerizing and multi-layered performance, and she was in every scene. She trully transformed herself in all aspects of character and showed the world that she's not just a bombshell, but a great actress to be taken seriously. I cried during several scenes including the scene when she got dumped by her first boyfriend(Alejandro/Diego Luna). I was also moved a great deal by the miscarriage, and the scene when she was devastated and started to cut her hair and got very drunk. The most powerful scene was when she was drinking and crying while listening to an old lady(Chavela Vargas) sang a ballad to her, and she went home and stepped into her painting(The Two Fridas).The music, cinematography, acting, art direction, editing, and direction all worked together to achieve a very memorable experience. The special features has some very good materials included, and I really enjoyed the interviews on Julie Taymor, Salma Hayek, and the singers and composers.
I loved this movie and worship Frida. I admired her life's work as an artist, and her endurance of pain and struggles, and ultimately her relentless passion for love and creativity. I also collected the soundtrack, the Frida screenplay with photos of many of the scenes from the film, the postcard book, and a wall fabric drape painted with Frida and the Monkeys.
This movie is definitely a must-see for artist, art lover, fashion lover, music and cultural fans, and of course all Salma Hayek fans too!
Art in every form - absolutely splendid!
Morgaine Swann, H.Ps. | Eastern KY United States | 04/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow - art within art within art - a grand love story, a political commentary, a love letter to an artist, and homage to her vision - Julie Taymor and Selma Hayek have done Frida proud in this film. Be sure and get the book about the making of the movie [aisn: 1557045402] to accompany the DVD.
The cinematography is stunning. The performances are flawless. The way the live action is interwoven with adaptations of Kahlo's paintings is inspired. If you've ever been to Mexico, this will have you aching to go back - you can taste the fruit and feel the sun and the colors. I wish I could give it more than 5 stars - this is the one to get for any lover of art, woman of vision, or for a person who struggles to find meaning in pain or disability."
Wow! An excellent Julie Taymore picture!
Joe Sherry | Minnesota | 06/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before watching this movie I had no idea who Frida was. I knew that the film was directed by Julie Taymor (Titus), which meant that it would have a striking visual style. I knew that the movie starred Salma Hayek and that she had wanted to play this role for years. I knew that it had been nominated for 6 Academy Awards including a Best Actress nomination for Hayek. But I did not know anything about the subject of the film. Frida is a biopic focusing on the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek). As much as the movie focuses on the life of Frida, it seemed that the main thrust of picture was on Frida's relationship with her husband, painter Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina). The film does cover Frida's life from her childhood right up to her death. We begin the movie when Frida is a young woman aspiring to be a painter. Her father is highly supportive of her dreams. However, she is riding on a trolley one day when it gets into an accident. She has to be in a body cast for some time and it was in doubt whether she would ever walk again. She recovers, but she lives a life of pain. Frida meets the womanizing painter, Diego Rivera and they get married. This does not mean that he changes his ways and naturally this causes problems in their marriage. They remain committed to each other even when they are each sleeping with other people. Over the course of the movie we see Frida painting, but it seems that Frida the artist gets pushed to the side and we see Frida the woman/wife. I don't know enough about Frida Kahlo to know if this is a flaw in the movie or not, but it is just the way the movie is. The acting in this movie is superb. Nothing feels wrong or forced. But, surpassing even the excellent acting is the visual presentation of Frida. Her artwork appears throughout the movie, but not simply as paintings hanging on the wall. Kahlo's artwork appears first as a painting, but that painting transforms into the scene itself. This also works the opposite way in that a scene will end up as a painting and the transitions between the two are so smooth it is very impressive. I was very impressed with Frida. I didn't care for Julie Taymos's other film (Titus), so I didn't know what to expect. Everyone (Hayek, Taymor) exceeded my expectations for the movie. This was a very good movie."