Perhaps we should be thankful that from time to time, truly great directors get off track and deliver an absolute curiosity. Maybe it recalibrates them or starts them thinking about their work in new ways. While Joel Schumacher just makes bad movies and got lucky a couple of times early in his career, someone like Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel, Amores Perros
) can misfire in the name of art, perhaps while trying to locate a new language or perspective for his work. Hopefully, that’s the takeaway from Biutiful
, a movie that has a lot right about it (mostly in the performance of Javier Bardem), but it just can’t enunciate what it wants to say. Too long, too unfocused and too empty, Biutiful
feels like the one that got away from Iñárritu. At least he flames out admirably and interestingly.