Taglines: She was invited, but she’s not welcome.
The film opens with Beatriz (Salma Hayek) rowing a boat in a mangrove swamp where she encounters a white goat on the shore. Next, she is shown waking up, taking care of her animals, and heading off to work at a massage therapy center where she meets with her clients. She then drives to the house of a client, Kathy (Connie Britton), to give her a massage before her dinner party.
During the massage, Beatriz tells Kathy that her neighbor had killed one of her goats and becomes emotional. Beatriz leaves and heads to her car, but is unable to start it. She tells Kathy that a friend will repair it when he gets out of work. Kathy invites Beatriz to stay for the dinner party. Kathy checks with her husband Grant (David Warshofsky), who objects because they are entertaining important business connections, but he ultimately agrees.
The first dinner guests, Shannon (Chloë Sevigny) and Alex (Jay Duplass), arrive, discussing how much money they will make off their business venture. Beatriz explores the house, meets them, and awkwardly introduces herself. Doug Strutt (John Lithgow) and Jeana (Amy Landecker) arrive, and everyone goes outside, where Kathy introduces Beatriz to the other women. She explains how they met: her and Grant’s daughter Tara had cancer, and Beatriz helped Tara recover her strength after her medical treatment. Beatriz learns that her friend won’t be able to come until morning. Kathy tells her to stay the night and asks her to sing a song after dinner.
Back outside, Grant, Alex, and Doug discuss potential titles for Doug’s memoir. Doug mistakes Beatriz for one of the house staff and she shyly introduces herself. She tells Doug she thinks she might know or remember him from somewhere. Doug tells her he’s famous and she could’ve seen him anywhere. Evan (John Early) comes outside to get them for dinner.
During dinner, Doug talks about the building of his new business, where Alex warns him of potential protestors. Doug laughs it off. Beatriz begins to talk about her life, how she had to emigrate from Mexico when she was young. Doug asks if she came into the country legally. Jeana tells him to knock it off, and lets her finish. As the dinner proceeds, Beatriz leaves to call a family member, asking if Doug was the man they protested back in Mexico. When she returns to the table, she asks Doug if he had a hotel in her hometown; he doesn’t recognize the name, but mentions he has other hotels there.
Beatriz tells him how the hotel being built promised jobs and opportunities for her community, but ended up destroying it. Kathy invites everyone into the living room for dessert. As the guests make their way to the living room, Beatriz massages Doug’s shoulders. The group meets in the living room for dessert, as they are eating, Jeana reveals she and Doug will be going to Africa in the next couple of days, as she is expecting to be bored since Doug will be out all day.
The topic changes to Doug discussing how he hunts various animals in Africa, and begins to pass around a picture of the dead animals he hunted to the other guests, once the phone reaches Beatriz, she immediately becomes alarmed and angry and throws the phone at Doug. Doug laughs it off, alongside the rest of the group, saying not everyone can handle the graphic image. She charges out of the room, and Kathy follows, telling everyone she’s had an emotional week.
Beatriz apologizes and promises to make it up to Kathy. Kathy tells her just to go to bed and stop drinking, since she’s had an emotional week. Beatriz heads to Tara’s room, where she looks up Doug on the computer, coming across his various controversies and legal problems surrounding his businesses. She then goes back outside to see the guests, performing the song she promised Kathy. She sings a song, and gets into a verbal fight with Doug, upsetting Grant who tells her she needs to leave immediately and he is calling a tow truck to come get her car. Kathy attempts to give Beatriz money, but she declines.
Beatriz at Dinner is a 2017 comedy-drama film directed by Miguel Arteta from a screenplay by Mike White. It stars Salma Hayek, John Lithgow, Connie Britton, Jay Duplass, Amy Landecker, Chloë Sevigny and David Warshofsky.
An American-Canadian co-production, the film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on June 9, 2017, by Roadside Attractions and FilmNation Entertainment, and in Canada on June 16, 2017, by Elevation Pictures.
Beatriz at Dinner (2017)
Directed by: Miguel Arteta
Starring: Salma Hayek, John Lithgow, Connie Britton, Jay Duplass, Amy Landecker, Chloë Sevigny, David Warshofsky, Natalia Abelleyra, Amelia Borella, Soledad St. Hilaire, Sean O’Bryan
Screenplay by: Mike White
Production Design by: Ashley Fenton
Cinematography by: Wyatt Garfield
Film Editing by: Jay Deuby
Costume Design by: Christina Blackaller
Set Decoration by: Madelaine Frezza
Music by: Mark Mothersbaugh
MPAA Rating: R for language and a scene of violence.
Distributed by: Roadside Attractions
Release Date: June 9, 2017 (United States), June 16, 2017 (Canada)