Enlightened creator Mike White and director Miguel Arteta have reunited for another — from the looks of it — searing comedy collaboration, a decade-and-a-half after their work together on The Good Girl and Chuck and Buck. The first trailer for Beatriz at Dinner, the latest film written by White and directed by Artera, has arrived, and plunges into the experience of a Mexican immigrant who gets an impromptu invitation to a dinner party whose only other invitees are exceedingly rich and painfully ignorant white real estate + “philanthropist”-types who also take South African hunting trips.
Similar in structure to (and socioeconomic setting of) Get Out, barbs gradually emerge from the initially friendly experience, as cultural assumptions begin to fly around, as the white hosts begin getting drunk, unharnessing latent aspects of their varying degrees and forms of racism, and imbuing Beatriz with a sense of escalating alienation.
The trailer shows Hayek’s character — an L.A.-based massage/Reiki/sound therapy practitioner from Mexico, whose rich clients extend an invitation to dinner after her car breaks down — wandering around the mansion owned by characters played by Connie Britton and David Warshofsky, getting introduced to guests with exaggerated references to her healing practice. “Birds fly out of the sky and land on her shoulder,” says Connie Britton’s character. “Ah, it’s like Snow White,” replies another guest — played by Transparent‘s Amy Landecker. (Transparent‘s Jay Duplass is there as well! So is Chloë Sevigny!) Then, John Lithgow’s character, real estate mogul Doug Strutt (who Variety‘s Owen Glieberman called a “takeoff on the spirit of Trump”) presumes she’s the maid. He also asks if she came to the country legally, and condescendingly congratulates her for contributing.
And then there are hints, from the trailer, that there’s more going on than meets the eye — particularly as it seems Beatriz recognizes Doug Strutt from somewhere. That potential laces the trailer with a sense of mystery and foreboding.
The movie’s out in theaters on June 9.