According to director Julie Taymor (on a DVD featurette) the title role in Frida calls for an actress who can be “outrageous, tenacious, very feminine, very vulnerable, very obsessive in her love for her man; to be macabre and grotesque and yet exquisitely beautiful.”
You could say Salma Hayek needed some of those qualities just to snare the lead role in this production (and use her considerable determination and sense of purpose to get this film made.) In the process she earned Academy Award and Golden Globe acting nominations and proved she was more than just a spicy piece of eye candy.
In one scene Ms. Hayek as Frida tells sometime lover Leon Trotsky (played by Geoffrey Rush) about her numerous operations: “I’ve been cut into, rebroke and reset so many times I’m like a jigsaw puzzle.”
Thanks to Ms. Hayek and her dedicated crew of craftsmen – many of whom are interviewed on the two-disc DVD – all of the pieces fit together to form a portrait of a complex, gifted, passionate and intriguing woman and her dark, singular art.
(Yes, the film is available on Netflix but one thing I miss about DVDs is the behind-the-scenes interviews and features.