Artist, Con Artist, Art House

A forgettable Frida, a regrettable Charlie and a lovely epic about France, filmmaking and the Resistance

Frida Kahlo, the Mexican surrealist-communist painter, lived her life in ghastly pain, the result of a crippling accident. But pain, though knowable, is also indescribable. Alas, Frida is one of those chipper biopics in which the heroine (Salma Hayek) cheerfully endures her suffering while incidentally creating her art and carrying on her endlessly tormented love affair with the muralist Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina). The result is a trivializing movie, especially disappointing because it was directed by Broadway's lionized Julie Taymor (The Lion King). Her first theatrical film, Titus, was distinguished by a bold and visionary sweep. In Frida that inventiveness has...

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