Without even having seen "Biutiful," I was terribly pleased to hear Javier Bardem's name announced on Oscar morning. I'm all about worldly and qualitative thinking when it comes to awardage, and I'm all about Bardem, who, even if he is still riding the wave of his 2007 win, is hugely, naturally talented. Now I've seen the film, and he earned that nod.
And so, for that matter, did Alejandro González Iñárritu, whom I've greatly admired since his debut, "Amores Perros" (which, admittedly, he has yet to top). He's emotionally, narratively and environmentally ambitious -- he tells intimate stories but in big worlds with big, crushing feelings. Catch my full review of "Biutiful," now online at SouthPhillyReview.com. CLICK HERE.