Docudrama | English | 123 minutes
Eighteen-year-old Frida Kahlo, living in Mexico, suffers a serious injury when her bus collides with a streetcar. Pain from her injuries plague her the rest of her life. While convalescing, her father brings her a canvas, paint and brushes. Through painting, Frida overcomes her pain with art and imagination. As an art student, she meets the older, accomplished painter Diego Rivera. They marry but neither is faithful. Rivera has affairs with a wide array of women while the bisexual Frida takes on both male and female lovers. Rockefeller commissions Rivera to paint a mural, “Man at Crossroads” in one of his New York office buildings. When the marxist Rivera inserts Lenin in the mural, Rockefeller orders Rivera to remove it. Rivera refuses and Rockefeller destroys the mural. When they return to Mexico Frida discovers Rivera is having an affair with her sister Cristina and she divorces him. Frida becomes ill and her gangrenous toes are amputated. Rivera asked her to remarry him and she agrees. Her health worsens. After finally having a solo exhibition of her paintings in Mexico, Frida dies. She was only 47 years old.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 75%
- Metacritic Score: 61
- Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Actress in Leading Role (Salma Hayek)
- BAFTA Awards: Winner, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Salma Hayek)
- AFI Awards: Winner, Movie of the Year
- National Board of Review: Listed, Top Ten Films of the Year
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Salma Hayek makes the character an icon of female independence, courage and nonconformity.
Director Julie Taymor’s film is as restless and determined as its subject, whose painful, promiscuous life has become, almost 50 years after her death, something of a pop-culture legend. The film breaks free in bursts of color, imagination, music, sex, and over-the-top theatricality–it honors the artist’s brave, anarchic spirit.
Smart, willful, and perverse, this Frida is nobody’s servant, and the tiny Salma Hayek plays her with head held high. You may want to laugh now and then, but you won’t look away.
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