Criticism

Frida (Q Syndicate)

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With monkeys on her shoulders and unibrow affixed firmly in place, Salma Hayek conjures the spirit of bisexual Mexican painter Frida Kahlo in this stunning account of the artist’s life. A tragic bus accident at age 18 results in a lifetime of excruciating pain for Frida, but her real suffering comes via a tumultuous 25-year relationship with her mentor and husband, muralist Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina). Fittingly for an artist whose biography is embodied by her paintings, the film explodes with Frida’s vivid artwork and grotesque imagery, which are put to creative use in conveying the fascinating details of her life. Ultimately, these astonishing experiences, including a fling with exiled Russian Marxist Leon Trotsky (Geoffrey Rush) and a friendship with bohemian photographer Tina Modotti (Ashley Judd), compel Frida to transform her external self into a political, sexual and cultural statement as peculiar as anything she commits to canvas.

Grade: A

Kinsey Scale: 5 (While not technically a gay film, Frida’s bisexual affairs are explicitly depicted, and she even shares lovers occasionally with her unfaithful husband. Hayek’s lesbian character did the cheating in Timecode, and Molina played gay in Prick Up Your Ears, as playwright Joe Orton’s companion.)

(Appeared in Q Syndicate)
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