8:00 PM, 14th June, 2003
Frida Kahlo (Hayek) was born of a Jewish father and Mexican mother and grew up in Mexico at a time of political and social ferment. The film spans the famous painter's life from adolescence to her death at the age of 47. At the age of 18, Frida was involved in a horrifying trolley-car accident that almost killed her and left her crippled and in debilitating pain for the rest of her life. Frida did not allow her disability to stop her from leading a politically and artistically active life. She channelled her pain into artistic expression, married the renowned muralist and philanderer Diego Rivera (Molina), espoused liberal and socialist causes and had affairs with Leon Trotsky (Rush) and various women. The film's script can be faulted for trying to cover too much ground and only dealing superficially with the major events in Frida's life, but benefits from very good performances and an interesting visual style. The film pulsates with colour, inspired by the paintings of Frida Kahlo, with some scenes fading into or out of paintings.
10:00 PM, 14th June, 2003
The place: Northern Italy. The plot: Philippa's husband dies from a drug overdose, so she vows revenge against the dealers. The police force is uninterested; then the bomb she makes doesn't kill the dealers but does make her a murderer and a terrorist suspect. Enter Filipo, a young translator/policeman, and Philippa's life isn't quite as hellish as before.
The question: Do the lovers escape, or do they die agonising deaths?
The verdict: Tom Tykwer (director) has the ability to put together wonderful imagery on the screen (e.g. Run Lola Run), and this movie is no exception. Blanchett has to display the complete range of human emotion from blind fury to passionate love via quiet contempt and utter surprise. You judge whether she is believable.