When I first watched this movie I was not only taken aback with the story, screenplay and acting, but the soundtrack just blew me away! The music is so refreshing and diverse and gives one an insight into Mexican and Latin American music. It fits in perfectly with the movie and is a joy to listen to on its own. If you like world music then this will delight (if not, you can start liking right here).
She was famous as both artist and model, infamous as political revolutionary and social libertine, and Frida Kahlo's controversial life couldn't help but seem the stuff of great musical theater. Her story is brought to the screen by director Julie Taymor, whose musical compatriot here is also her husband; Elliot Goldenthal, student of both Copland and Corigliani, shrewdly sublimates his modernism in service of the rich, evocative music and songs of Mexico and Central America. Utilizing performers that range from the contemporary (Lila Downs) to the folk-classic (Costa Rican legend Chavela Vargas; Brazilian star Caetano Veloso) and traditional (Los Cojolites, El Poder Del Norte, Trio Huasteca, Caimanes de Tanquin, and others), Goldenthal generously displays the true breadth of Mexican folk music, while seamlessly infusing it with the minimalist corners of his own underscore and some winning songwriting of his own. The result is one of 2002's most compelling soundtracks. The enhanced CD features include musical film excerpts, as well as a video conversation between Goldenthal and star Salma Hayek and text interviews with the composer and director Taymor. --Jerry McCulley