Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is a relatively slow moving, but calculated director. He has directed only 4 features in 10 years, and I can say that the last three have been incredible (I haven't seen Amores Perros, so I can not speak to that one). If moving at an almost Kubrickian pace is what keeps the quality of his films so high, I salute him for it. Biutiful, his latest, has definitely been worth the four year wait since his last feature, Babel.
Biutiful follows a Spanish man, Uxbal (played by Javier Bardem), who is primarily involved in process of selling bootleg merchandise. He acts as a middle man between the factory and the sales people on the street, facilitating the transfer of merchandise, the pay off's to police, and he takes it upon himself to make sure the labor is taken care of. When Uxbal finds out he has cancer, though, his life begins a seemingly irreversible slide. Everything good deed he does is thrown back in his face, as he gets weaker and weaker.
Biutiful is a lot like The King's Speech in that it's pretty impossible to find anything wrong with it. The acting is superb from all of the main players, the cinematography is gorgeous, and it's put together perfectly. I will say that I was extremely glad that Innaritu decided to stick to a linear story line in this film. While I liked 21 Grams, it was disorienting, and, while Babel was nowhere near that, the jumping back and forth, following so many stories, was a little exhausting by the end. Biutiful, because it is a much more localized film and focused on only a few main characters, allows you to really focus on these individuals and get to know them, and that is why, I feel (mind you, with Amores Perros not included in this), that Biutiful is Inarritu's best film to date.