Frida (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

Frida (2002)



Critic Consensus: Frida is a passionate, visually striking biopic about the larger-than-life artist.

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After being attached to a number of actors, directors, and producers, this long-gestating biography of one of Mexico's most prominent, iconoclastic painters reaches the screen under the guiding hand of producer/star Salma Hayek. Hayek ages some 30 years onscreen as she charts Frida Kahlo's life from feisty schoolgirl to Diego Rivera protégée to world-renowned artist in her own right. Frida details Kahlo's affluent upbringing in Mexico City, and her nurturing relationship with her traditional mother (Patricia Reyes Spindola) and philosophical father (Roger Rees). Having already suffered the crippling effects of polio, Kahlo sustains further injuries when a city bus accident nearly ends her life. But in her bed-ridden state, the young artist produces dozens upon dozens of pieces; when she recovers, she presents them to the legendary -- and legendarily temperamental -- Rivera (Alfred Molina), who takes her under his wing as an artist, a political revolutionary, and, inevitably, a lover. But their relationship is fraught with trouble, as the philandering Rivera traverses the globe painting murals, and Kahlo languishes in obscurity, longing to make her mark on her own. Frida was directed by Julie Taymor, whose Broadway production of The Lion King won her international acclaim. ~ Michael Hastings, Rovi

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Salma Hayek
as Frida Kahlo
Alfred Molina
as Diego Rivera
Geoffrey Rush
as Leon Trotsky
Mia Maestro
as Cristina Kahlo
Ashley Judd
as Tina Modotti
Antonio Banderas
as David Alfaro Siqueiros
Edward Norton
as Nelson Rockefeller
Valeria Golino
as Lupe Marin
Roger Rees
as Guillermo Kahlo
Diego Luna
as Alejandro Gomez
Margarita Sanz
as Natalia Trotsky
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Critic Reviews for Frida

All Critics (158) | Top Critics (49)

Smart, willful, and perverse, this Frida is nobody's servant, and the tiny Hayek plays her with head held high. You may want to laugh now and then, but you won't look away.

January 7, 2020 | Full Review…

Salma Hayek finally ushered her dream project into production, but her impassioned lead performance lacks the necessary gravitas for the role, mistaking empty energy for wild fits of inspiration.

January 7, 2020 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The plodding, glumly literal screenplay holds this otherwise expressive biopic back, but it's still a colourful and entertaining watch.

January 6, 2020 | Rating: B | Full Review…

It wasn't a bad idea to conceive of the film as an epic, complex love story between Frida and Rivera, but the passion between them is more rhetorical than palpable...Taymor and Hayak give us only the rough sketch of a wild soul.

November 1, 2007 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It would be nice to report that the subsequent film, with all of the talent and perseverance that has gone into seeing it to fruition, was worth the heartfelt efforts of all involved.

June 19, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

With splendid supporting turns from the likes of Ashley Judd, Edward Norton, and Geoffrey Rush, and some terrific set pieces, Taymor brings Kahlo's art to life.

March 4, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Frida

Visually brilliant biopic about an original directed by an original. Love, love, love.

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer


A feast for the eyes...a famine for the ears. This films moments of immense beauty are almost overshadowed by the mediocre acting. While Salma Hayek certainly looks the part, there is a certain shallowness to her acting abilities that really did not do the character justice. And Ashley Judd's performance (though mercifully brief) is just painful to watch and hear. I did learn a lot about Firda's life and with that insight gained a greater appreciation for her work, but what could have been an AMAZING film with a more solid lead...ended up feeling just like a beautifully filmed vanity piece.

Robert C
Robert C

Super Reviewer

I never much cared for Kahlo's work. Still don't. But it made me respect the woman more. After this I can see how well suited this was for Taymor's directing style. The visual effects that worked for her here were very similar in Across the Universe. Outstanding acting and beautiful cinematography. Probably one of my favorite biopics. (Much better than Evita...)

Jennifer D
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

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