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Every Monday the Journey with Jesus posts a new essay based upon the Biblical Lectionary, a film review, a book review, and a poem or prayer.

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The Journey with Jesus: Film Reviews

Film Reviews by Dan Clendenin

Biutiful (2010) — MexicanBiutiful (2010) — Mexican

Writer and director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, and Babel) continues his polyglot ways by taking us to the underworld black markets of Barcelona. Uxbal (Javier Bardem) is a very good bad man. As a middle man street criminal, he manages illegal immigrants from China, who manufacture fake designer goods from subterranean sweatshops where they both work and live, and Senegalese street venders who peddle such items and dope on Barcelona's sidewalks. Everything in Uxbal's world is caving in on him. Blood in his urine elicits a death sentence from his doctor, he tenderly loves his two kids and bipolar wife, and he genuinely cares for the illegal immigrants whom, let's face it, he exploits. One reviewer called Biutiful an "urban version of the Passion." Uxbal is a man of many sorrows who is going to die soon, but until then he gives himself up for others. In Spanish, Chinese, and Senegalese French.