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Frida (2002)
Academy Award® Winner
Frida Kahlo shared a life with the artist Diego Rivera as they took the art world by storm, while also having a controversial affair with Leon Trotsky.

Starring Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Antonio Banderas...  View more >

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Reviews Summary

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

Nov 27, 2002
"Frida" is a wonderful, well-made bio of a painter name Frida Kahlo. A painter who live a short life. She is played by Salma Heyek, who could get an Oscar nomination for her role. Kahlo is a painter who lived from 1907 to 1945, who was severly injured in a near-fatal trolley accident when she was 18, which nearly claim her life, and her injuries had dog her for the rest of her life. Her paintings ( all 137 of them) had painted a potrait of her life story. If you see any of her paintings, you know you're watching her life story being told.

"Frida" is a movie about a woman who overcame her hardships and her injuries to created some of the best portraits. The film also celebrat the life of an artist who can overcome any hurdles. Her marriage to Diego Rivera, played by Alfred Molina in a fine performance, is stormy, but they had learn to live together despite their affairs. And Kahlo is afraid to be let known that she's a bi-sexual as well as a comminst, who she hang out with some of her comandes. She even had an affair with Leon Trosky, played by Geoffrey Rush.

This is a film that celebrates Mexican history and diversity. This film directed by Julie Taymor, who really put her life together. Today not many people are studying history, especally Mexican history. Perhaps this film will wake these people up. The joy of studying history is to go back in the past and experience the things that you wish you could experience.

"Frida" is a example of how history can be celebrated. A turly wonderful film.
Jan 7, 2003
A young and far-from-innocent Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek) romps joyously through the streets of Mexico City in 1922 at the beginning of director Julie Taymor's Frida, but her days of carefree happiness quickly soar away with the release of a bluebird as the poignant frame of her beautiful albeit bloody body surrounded by the golden dust of a recent but forgotten age lingers on the screen. Kahlo's life after this one tragic afternoon was intense enough to make her paintings cry real tears. Tears of pain, betrayal, sorrow, loss, and love flowed through her paintbrush to create what her unfaithful but truly loving husband, Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina), called poetry on canvas in the film.

Taymor created a cinematically rich film that entertains and teaches audiences about a real people, a real country, and a real history. Screenwriter Clancy Sigal did not dedicate himself to historical accuracy, but in many respects he assumed the responsibility of writing a story based on history told from a nontraditional perspective. Kahlo was a woman, she was an early feminist that flirted with bisexuality, and she supported communist politics making her quite unlike traditional recorders of history. She wrote with her art and Sigal used the passion flowing from her work along with textual research to provide the blueprint for an outstanding cast of actors.

Hayek captures the audience from the onset of the film by immediately showcasing a number of emotions along the continuum of extreme pleasure and extreme pain. She portrays a strong-willed character but allows a softness that makes her unconditional tolerance and forgiveness entirely believable. Many audience members will be sufficiently captivated by Kahlo to feel a quickened heartbeat as she rises from her wheelchair to take her first determined steps after the accident less than twenty minutes after the show begins, and no one should be unmoved as she and Rivera lay in bed seventeen days before their twenty-fifth anniversary.

The role of Rivera does not require as much versatility and risk from Molina, but he still provides a noteworthy performance. One wants to hate him for his infidelity and perpetuation of the Mexican male stereotype, but one cannot because he is too loved by his friends and family. He womanizes, he fights, he drinks, and nobody says a lasting malicious word because he cannot be a man that he is not. He is loved and hated and loved again, and love ultimately prevails. His ex-wife Lupe MarĂ­n (Valeria Golino) continues to dote on him as he begins a new marriage with Kahlo who also accepts the excuse that he is physiologically incapable of fidelity, and the moving relationship that develops between the two women lasts briefly onscreen though its revelations permeate the entire story.

Geoffrey Rush, Ashley Judd, Antonio Banderas, and Edward Norton round out the cast of superstars and are supported by commendable unknown talent. The script could have been trimmed and the relationship between Hayek and Judd's character seems entirely superfluous not-to-mention awkward and weak, but overall this film deserves much praise. Commercial film lovers may feel bewildered by the troubling dream sequences steeped in cryptic meaning, and conservatives might blush throughout the two hour running time because of its sensual and frequently sexual content, but it will leave few entirely disappointed. Non-commercial film lovers will enjoy the film's integration of several types of art forms and its use of contrast with oftentimes vibrant color and black and white that functions to raise existential questions. One leaves the film unable to forget that few things are ever perfectly black or perfectly white-that grey dominates life's palate, though color is what makes it beautiful even if it is at times beautifully tragic and sorrowful. Audience members with Mexican heritage and people who possess a vast knowledge of this culture will applaud its truthful portrayal of privileged Mexican life and will probably experience an even greater understanding of its symbolism and significance.
Feb 24, 2003
Mar 22, 2003

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