Another comedy of manners, where upright folks sitting around a dinner table slowly become more inelegant? It would sound like a snooze, except the talent involved puts the lie to that assumption. Re-teaming writer Mike White and director Miguel Arteta for their first feature-film collaboration since The Good Girl, Beatriz At Dinner stars Salma Hayek as a healer—massage, reiki, you name it—from a poor town in Mexico who ends up attending a fancy dinner party thrown by one of her clients, and slowly gets drawn into a confrontation with an obnoxious and wealthy hotel magnate (John Lithgow).
The movie clearly has issues of class and race on its mind, with Lithgow mistaking Hayek for the help early on, then blithely steamrolling her conversational contributions throughout the meal. Again, the trailer seems barely one step away from a society woman clutching her pearls and emitting a “Well, I never!”, but we’re willing to take a gamble on this one, given the track record of the talent both behind and in front of the camera, including supporting turns from Chloë Sevigny, Jay Duplass, and Connie Britton. Beatriz At Dinner comes out June 9.