Director Julie Taymor (Titus) is touched by genius, all her crew members are crackerjacks, and as profoundly passionate and uncompromising Mexican-Jewish painter Frida Kahlo, Salma Hayek is several notches above Oscar-worthy (although she wimped out on the mustache). Kahlo's lifelong pain and pleasure come alive through her painting, but before anyone can mumble "female Van Gogh," Taymor takes the artist's experience to a mythic, universal, even psychedelic level. The romance of Frida and Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina, equally Oscar-worthy) is a remarkable study of sexual politics, especially in exchanges with his ex-wife, Lupe Marin (a magnificent Valeria Golino). The film's regular politics are equally engrossing, as communist Rivera runs counter to the conservative expectations of Nelson Rockefeller (a game Edward Norton) or as the painterly couple host Leon Trotsky (Geoffrey Rush, finally not grating). An hour shorter but every bit as powerful as Judgment at Nuremberg, Gandhi or Malcolm X, Frida is an epic experience that will reverberate around the world.