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Movie Review

Movie: Frida
Starring: Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina
Released: 2003
Directed by: Julie Taymor
Rated: R

available at

Synopsis: Frida is a chronicle of the life of Mexican surrealist painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954). Frida acquires her first artistic experiences during her extensive recuperation from a serious accident. Seeking criticism from the successful painter Diego Rivera, Frida begins a journey into the world of art and an enduring relationship with Rivera. The movie explores her turbulent marriage to Rivera, as well as other romantic liaisons such as those with other women and her controversial affair with Leon Trotsky. Frida gives an account of the artistic development of this bold and uncompromising painter by exploring aspects of her personal life that gave rise to her significant body of work.

Editor’s Review: At the risk of appearing “artistically uncouth,” I must admit (in hushed tones) that I did not find Frida interesting enough to even see it through to the end. Urged by several acquaintances to experience this movie not only on the merit of its emotionally stirring story but for its visual effects as well, I was eager to give it a try. I did feel drawn in at the beginning of the movie as Frida struggled through a harrowing recuperation from her injuries in a bus accident and discovered her talents in art in the process. But not long after she began to get serious about art as a career and met up with Rivera, I began to feel that I was merely an observer to an endless parade of the artist’s questionable personal actions, provided with little or no understanding as to the underlying reasons for those actions. I think it was this lack of depth caused my interest to wane. The fact that there is little character development or even character understanding in Frida is not surprising since this is often the case with real-life stories. But it does not make for a satisfying movie experience if this is what you enjoy. As for the visual effects – supposedly a treat for the senses – I didn’t find them particularly noteworthy. If you’re interested in a glimpse into Frida Kahlo’s life story as an artist that you admire, then you probably won’t be disappointed because the movie brings her story to life, but if you are looking for some level of emotional intimacy with the main character, you may very well be disappointed.>

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Diana Blake is a professional artist and art history enthusiast. Her fascination with art history began when she encountered European art firsthand during several trips abroad as a young adult. As she began to compose a portfolio for her own art career, she called upon what she had seen in Europe and extended her knowledge to other styles of art through profuse reading and exhaustive research. As a result, Diana has written more than one hundred articles in which she delves into a variety of art history topics and she has compiled a list of links that she believes to be invaluable for art history enthusiasts. In addition, she also reviews books and movies on the topic of art history and has assembled an extensive list of online stores that sell books, movies and gift items related to art history.
   You can see Diana's own artwork by visiting her site at