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Loves of a Blonde (1965) and Biutiful (2010) – Homage? It looks that way.

LOVES OF A BLONDE (1965) and BIUTIFUL (2010)

Loves of a Blonde: Directed by Milos Forman (Amadeus; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest). With Hana Brejchová, Vladimír Pucholt, Vladimír Mensik.

Biutiful: Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel; Amores Perros; 21 Grams). With Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men).

Loves of a Blonde and Biutiful are by no means similar films. Loves of a Blonde follows a girl and her relationships with various boys and men. Biutiful is about the life and death of a dying man. However, now that I have seen both films, Biutiful blatantly takes elements from Loves of a Blonde. I will focus only on the opening scene. Comparing the two opening scenes will reveal the similarities.

Watch this section from the beginning of Loves of a Blonde. I will be dealing with the content from 2:09 until 6:30.

The opening scene of Loves of a Blonde deals with a girl who is given a ring from her boyfriend. Her friend is curious and wants to try it on. The two friends whisper to each other. The girl then appears in a snowy forest, hanging a tie on a tree for the boy to find.

The opening scene of Biutiful deals with a dying man who, before death, passes onto his daughter a diamond ring which his father had given to his mother. He and his daughter whisper as well. Then, in his death, he sees his father, whom he never met, in a snowy forest.

Here are the similar components, illustrated through screenshots of stills with subtitles.

1.) The ring conversation. I’m going to alternate stills from each film, and you’ll see the comparisons for yourself.

Loves of a Blonde: 



Biutiful (NOTE: There are bad subtitles sometimes. In the second still here, it means that the daughter wants to put the ring on her own finger, not “his”).



Loves of a Blonde: 


Biutiful: 


Loves of a Blonde: 



Biutiful:



2.) The forest scene.

Loves of a Blonde: 


Biutiful:


Loves of a Blonde: 




Biutiful:




3.) A character in both films brings up a fact pertaining to habits of animals. Both animal stories from the forest scenes involve the protagonists (the blonde girl and Javier Bardem) frightening the animal. Notice also that the owl story in Biutiful involves death, which reflects Bardem’s character, while the story in Loves of a Blonde involves sex and mating, which reflects the blonde girl’s lifestyle.

Loves of a Blonde: 








Biutiful:





I’d like to think of these similarities as a homage rather than a rip-off. Iñárritu adapted Forman’s structure for his own, free-standing message and theme. There is no way that he made these scenes without being conscious of Forman’s work. My one concern is that many people have taken this work to be Iñárritu’s own creation, when in fact it borrows heavily from Loves of a Blonde.

In any case, both films are worth seeing and incredible in their own right. I simply wanted to point out these clear commonalities.

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