We went to see Frida last night, and it’s a lovely fillm, worthy of its’ subject. Every person who set foot in an art class for the past twenty years has developed at least a small crush on the original Ms. Kalho; as one of that innumerable herd I was somewhat concerned that such a more conventioinally beautiful woman as Salma Hayek would play the decidedly non-conventionally beautiful Frida Kalho.

I needn’t have worried, although the film Hollywoodizes much, including the physical appearance of the heroine, the Communism of her and her hubby, Diego Rivera, and I’m sure more. I’m basically unconcerned with that and gleefully recommend the movie to anyone; however if you hate it when Hollywood prettifies things, do me a favor (you’re not doing yourself one) and stay home with your Kenneth Anger DVD.

However, I do have a shank of film dweebery to satisfy. It boils down to this: how much like the real Kahlo did they make Ms. Hayek look? In the context of the film, I accepted Ms. Hayek with no difficulty whatsover. Let’s investigate!



From Nikolas Murray – Strip 19 at Eastman house. The second image is either the same as or nearly the same as the color image used as the cover of the November 2002 Smithsonian. I believe, but don’t have documentary evidence to hand, that these images were from the session or sessions that produced the Kahlo cover of Vogue during her and Rivera’s visit to New York.

The publicity for the film has included this poster, which is based on the Vogue cover as seen in the film.


Finally, a straight headshot of Ms. Hayek in full regalia.


Here is some linkage:

The official movie site (yes, one of those horrific flash-based monstrosities: it’s much like drinking ground glass in a decoction of molasses).

(I really want to do a journalistic investigation into the suffering and pain caused by the studios’ uniform embrace of this kind of site design. Isn’t the idea of marketing to entice your audience?)

Non-flash-based site, a semi-pro fansite, looks like.

5 thoughts on “Frida, the movie, the person

  1. Better Salma than Jennifer Lopez, who also was gunning for a part in a Frida biopic at one point.

    Back to you now, Mike. This is Anne Zender, with E Entertainment News.

  2. I thought the movie was absolutely wonderful! I have just one comment, it was French not American Vogue.

  3. I think a fair translation of Angie’s comment is:

    “I found the film enchanting and Salma Hayek’s performance appeared to me barbaric.”


    Online Spanish translators failed to render “pelicula” as “film” or “movie”, which it is, and also the key phrase “Me parecio barbara”.

    I’m pretty sure “me parecio” means “seemed to me” or “appeared to me.” “Me parece” means “seems to me” or “appears to me.”

    Italian online translators offer “barbarian” for “barbara”.

    However, wndering though other usages of the phrase in spanish did not yield a clear meaning. Possibly “rough-edged,” it seemed to me, as the phrase appeared in the context of qualified approvals or critiques.

Comments are now closed.