New American Cinema | 2017 | 79 minutes
Stranger says: Beatriz (a beautifully un-glammed Salma Hayek) is a Mexican massage therapist/healer who unwittingly finds herself at an intimate dinner party with the worst our society has to offer: a group of one percenters. Led by alpha male John Lithgow, they don’t care about anything but pleasing themselves and making tons of money, never mind the cost to people or planet. What is a person with a conscience to do in this situation? The cast is great: Connie Britton, Chloë Sevigny, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, and David Warshofsky are wonderful awful people. And it’s written by Mike White (Chuck & Buck, Enlightened), the king of the uncomfortable moment. (GILLIAN ANDERSON)
SIFF Says:There’s nothing quite like a dinner party to add a little excitement to one’s life. The combination of new and old friends plus a couple―OK, several―glasses of wine can really break down social barriers and provoke some rather interesting conversation. There’s also always the small chance things will get out of hand, causing rifts between friends and clientele that may be irreconcilable. Affluent couple Cathy and Grant (Connie Britton and David Warshofsky) are hosting an evening get-together for some close friends and acquaintances, including Grant’s billionaire boss, Doug Strutt (John Lithgow). When Beatriz (Salma Hayek), a holistic health practitioner from Mexico who works for the couple, is faced with car trouble down the road, she’s invited in as a last-minute guest. Immediately personalities clash, as do sociopolitical beliefs, as indignant Beatriz and imperious Doug face off in what might be the longest evening of these L.A. residents’ lives. This socially charged black comedy candidly deals with race, immigration, class, and other issues particularly relevant in this current politically heated age, and the performances of both Lithgow and Hayek are razor-sharp. Director Miguel Arteta reunites with writer Mike White to present us with this timely, sizzling showdown.
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