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Film / Frida

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Frida (2002) is a biographical film which depicts the professional and private life of the surrealist Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, portrayed by Salma Hayek (which earned her an Academy Award nomination). Alfred Molina stars as her husband Diego Rivera and Geoffrey Rush played Leon Trotsky.

The movie was adapted by Clancy Sigal, Diane Lake, Gregory Nava, Anna Thomas and Edward Norton (uncredited) from the book Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera. It was directed by Julie Taymor. It won Oscars for Best Makeup and Best Original Music Score (recipient: Elliot Goldenthal).

This film provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • A slight case. Kahlo wasn't ugly, but she certainly didn't look like Salma Hayek either. Yay! With a unibrow. Wha? And a thin but prominent mustache.
    • You may hear many jokes about Alfred Molina being too handsome to portray Diego Rivera. Half of those are being serious.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: This could be one of Diego's main attractions.
  • Amicable Exes: Diego's is amiable enough with his second wife Lupe to give her a place to stay as she searches for a job. Just as they were friends in real life, Lupe and Frida become a literal case of Amiable Exes of Diego, getting along and confiding in each other, during Frida's estrangement from Diego.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • Frida and Diego.
    • Frida has a bit of an uneasy relationship with her mother but they care deeply for each other.
    • Frida's father states he regrets marrying her mother at times but is devastated when she falls terminally ill.
  • Big Ol' Unibrow: Frida made a point of emphasizing her unibrow in all her self-portraits. This was mainly due to Kahlo's horrible self-esteem. In photographs, Kahlo's actually not bad looking, even with the unibrow. But in her self-portraits, Kahlo was notorious for putting emphasis on her uglier features, with her unibrow, mustache, and beauty mark getting special attention.
  • Contrived Coincidence: When Frida and Diego share their first kiss, the street lights suddenly lit up. She asks if he arranged for that. He jokingly responds that it costed him a fortune.
  • The Cameo: Ashley Judd, Antonio Banderas, Geoffrey Rush, Edward Norton, etc. They are all one or two scene wonders.
    • Not to mention the legendary Chavela Vargas (who may or may not have had an affair with the real Frida Kahlo in her youth), singing one of her most famous songs, "La Llorona."
  • Daddy's Girl: Frida had a loving relationship with her father, Guillermo.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    "Careful, guys. This corpse is still breathing. Try to get me there in one piece. "
    • Diego has his moments as well, such as when he tells Frida that he has no emotional connection to the models he sleeps with.
    "It was just a fuck. I've given more affection in a handshake."
  • Dirty Communist: Averted. The main characters are socialists, as are many of the supporting characters. They're decent people for the most part.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Frida's stop-motion "Day Of The Dead"-inspired dream, animated by The Quay Brothers, after she blacks out on her way to the hospital following the bus crash.
  • Exact Words: Frida's doctor insists she stays in bed. So for her first exhibition, she has the bed loaded onto a truck so she can attend.
    • Frida doesn't expect Diego to be faithful, but she does expect him to be loyal. She has no problem with his affairs for the most part, but sleeping with her sister definitely crosses a line.
  • Good Parents: Guillermo loves Frida dearly.
  • Handicapped Badass: Frida, post-accident.
  • Hypocrite: Diego doesn't mind Frida sleeping with other women, but flips out upon learning of her affair with Trotsky, even though they've been long separated due to his frequent infidelities.
  • Imagine Spot: Many scenes are recreations of Frida's paintings.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The handrail that impaled Kalho in a trolley accident.
  • Kavorka Man: Diego is a middle age fat man with a temper, yet he was an intense womanizer. This is apparently Truth in Television.
    "You'd never believe it, but he's had half the women in this room."
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Frida gets a glimpse of Lupe's children and its implied she envies Lupe for this reason. However, the life-long injuries from the bus crash causes a miscarriage.
  • May–December Romance:
    • Frida and Trotsky.
    • Frida and Diego to a lesser extent.
  • Mononymous Biopic Title: A first name variation.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Frida, when she realizes she took part in ruining Leon's marriage. Likewise, Leon too.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: Frida is at first reluctant but eventually complacent with the fact that Diego sleeps with many other women even after she and him married. But when one of those other women is one of Frida's sisters, it's the last straw beginnings the of the end of her marriage to Diego.
  • Naytheist: Inverted with Diego's line: "I don't believe in God but I thank him every day for giving me you."
  • Protagonist Title
  • Plaster Cast Doodling: Frida experiences a near-death accident that leaves her immobilized for a month with several surgeries and full-body casts. She draws colorful butterflies on her body cast during her hospitalization period to pass the time.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Frida gives Diego one when he's angry over her affair with Trotsky.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Diego's womanizing in New York is conveyed by seeing him leave his and Frida's hotel with various women—at one point, he even leaves with two. At the end of his montage, it's Frida we see leaving the hotel with a woman, and for added benefit, she's one of those we saw with Diego earlier.
    Gracie: I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but you were better than your husband.
  • Stepford Snarker: Frida had always enjoyed snarking before the bus accident and its implied snarking humorously helped her cope with the pain in its aftermath.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Diego (despite his slight Adaptational Attractiveness upgrade) and Frida. . .and the numerous other gorgeous women he's able to hook up with throughout the course of the movie.