Skip to main content

Desire For Beauty Review

2013
Director: Miguel GaudΓͺncio
Documentary, Poland 





What is the meaning of beauty and what holds us back from seeing ourselves as beautiful? These are the central questions that drive GaudΓͺncio's film. The story follows four individuals who are about to undergo plastic surgeries in an attempt to make themselves aesthetically complete. While the four are all undergoing different procedures for varying degrees of vanity, they all share a sense of self-consciousness that has pushed them to a point where they don't see any other option, they MUST change the way they look.

Its hard to watch this film without passing judgement on the four subjects. But if you allow premature evaluations to stand in the way of listening, the humanity of our advocates could be lost on you. Yes the central characters of this film are in fact our advocates, a direct reflection of our obsession with perfection. We are given insight to the motivations of our protagonists through fairly effective reenactments and interviews. These scenes are juxtaposed with talking heads discussing the meaning of beauty and the currency it carries. 

This is the first Polish documentary about self-perception and vanity. The film is decidedly beautiful to watch while it uncovers some ugly truths about us. Some of the questions raised by this film might feel obvious but sadly they are questions that need to be raised. Our image obsessed cultures rarely take the time to examine the internal. We know what we want and what what we like but can't be bothered to explore the reasons behind these desires.  

Most of us (myself included) have preconceptions about people who go under the knife to find happiness and self worth. One of the interviewees postulates that "one day we will have plastic surgery in the equivalent of a photo booth" and goes on to say "at this point nobody will care about outer beauty because we can all look exactly how we want."

The film stars Agata Kulesza (Ida 2013) which won the Oscar for best foreign picture in 2014. Desire for Beauty is available on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Vimeo VOD and it's currently a staff pick on IndieReign.



5 comments

Popular posts from this blog

Internet Trolls and Critics in the Age of Rotten Tomatoes - A Look at the Critical Response to GOTTI

Hate, intolerance, and cruelty are the most valued currencies in the digital age. Online publications deal in the same eye-catching tabloid headlines that were once exclusive to rags like WEEKLY WORLD NEWS and the NATIONAL ENQUIRER. The monetization of clicks is ruining many forms of journalism and film criticism is just one of them. When organizations can see what headlines are generating revenue its only natural that sensationalism would start to rise. There is no consorted hivemind like conspiracy to destroy certain films but rather internet activity that has boosted a certain type of writer. From the outside, online film critics share quite a bit with their Twitter troll counterparts.

The critical response to John Travolta's passion project Gotti has been less than favorable, in fact, it has been downright abysmal. A project over ten years in the making, Travolta has poured his heart and soul into this venture. And many writers seem to take pleasure in the film's failure.

I…

NO ALTERNATIVE review

Depression is often marked by sadness, despair, and hopelessness. The sense that things will not get better is something most of us pass through at different points in our lives. But depression is something more than that. It’s not just a temporary feeling, it’s a debilitating emotional state that you can’t simply pull yourself out of. The angry outbursts, irritability, and frustration that come along with depression can isolate individuals suffering from this condition and push them deeper into their own thoughts. Everyone needs to be heard and sometimes those who can’t express themselves in traditional forms find their voice in art.
Edvard Munch wrestled with agoraphobia and frequently had hallucinations, one of which inspired THE SCREAM, a painting so iconic that even the most casual art enthusiast is familiar with the piece.  Sylvia Plath took a more direct approach with THE BELL JAR and laid out the details of her depression with brutal honesty. Briana Dickerson a white suburba…

99 FROM 99: Cruel Intentions

On our latest episode of99 FROM 99, one host discovers some disturbing secrets about his co-host. All will be revealed in this episode on guilty pleasure CRUEL INTENTIONS! Namely that one host disagrees with the verdict of feeling guilt for enjoying this look at the cutthroat world of the powerful and wealthy transported to the realm of high school drama. Meanwhile the other host just feels bad for Selma Blair and all parties involved, including our dear listeners. Did we mention to give us a follow and a listen at the links below? Support what we do with bonus content and early episodes onPatreon Listen iTunes/Podbean Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @99from99