Well, this is really more an outright film recommendation than a review. I saw Biutiful last night. Very powerfully poetic film. Javier Bardem (I think he's now officially my favorite non-American actor) plays Uxbal, a single father who is suffering from terminal cancer and only has a couple of months to live. He takes care of his two young children, and also runs this shady business which tries to set illegal Chinese and Senegalese immigrants up with under-the-table employment opportunities. The whole movie is very beautifully made. One feels this super-heavy sense of tragic inevitability from the opening of the movie. You know he's going to die from the very first frame; there's just no getting around it. But you stay with the movie anyway, because you want to see how he discharges his various commitments and obligations to people around him, and comes to terms with the fact of his own mortality, and the various complex feelings that this brings up.
Warning: You probably shouldn't watch this movie if you are having a very bad day.
But in a way, the movie isn't just about Uxbal; it's about us. Yes, you and me. Because we are terminal too: We are all going to die someday. Perhaps there might even be a sense in which he is in a better position than we are. At least he knows his "time limit"; we don't. I don't know whether I am going to die tomorrow or fifty years from now.
Gee, this is getting a bit heavy. Anyway, I highly recommend the movie. Just don't watch it on days when you are looking for some stand-up comedy.
May the Force be with you.