The opportunity for redemption is open to all. Keep trying, keep getting better.
Ultimately, know thyself and what you are capable of. Whether you are the character Dom Hemingway, a despicable, violent, angry lowlife criminal or you are Jude Law, a good looking, well-known, successful actor; this path is open to you and all in-between.

The main problem with this film is the mis-casting of the lead character. Sure, he may be able to learn his lines, show up on time, already have a name for himself but if he don’t have the chops the camera will show it, (remember what Bucks Fizz said? -it never lies).

Jude Law is Dom Hemingway, a man released from jail and owed heavily for keeping his mouth shut. Hemingway is a lout, quick to anger (which in this case means a LOT of shouting), emotionally retarded and extremely violent.

There is a fairly well written screenplay hiding within this film and it contains some (potentially) great speeches, the sad thing is that the brilliance lies dormant on the page and it never quite translates into walking and talking in front of camera.
Richard E Grant can always be relied on to bring a certain energy to a part, ever enjoyable, always real and it was cool to see Demian Bechir giving his best in dangerous heavies as Dom’s former boss. Emilia Clarke grounds the film with a heart. Romanian actress and model, Madalina Diana Ghenea smoulders in a part that could have developed into something more interesting. Irish actress Kerry Condon has fun with her hooker with a heart role, so there are interesting women’s roles in there, they just don’t connect properly because the main fuse isn’t working.
Everyone is sturdy with the exception of the lead. Without wanting to sound too harsh, it’s like a film has been cast with talented, experienced professionals and they decided to cast the lead from a drama school graduation show, someone who may have potential but isn’t quite there yet. There is little more to say about this 43 year old man who has been in the business for years.

In the same vein as Sexy Beast only without the interesting performances.
The director Richard Shephard has just directed 6 episodes of HBO’s Girls and quite a few bits of TV and film and does the best he can when weighed down by a lead who doesn’t have the gravitas to keep it afloat.

A film hinges on its lead and if said lead can’t carry it, drop goes the movie.

A fairly painful 93 minutes.






Too much has already been written about the off-beat/quirky/left of centre/kooky style that Wes Anderson imbues in his films, and if you ever see him in interview you will realise that this quality is simply a reflection of him, like David Lynch before him he makes films that don’t sit easily in the usual genre categories and more is the joy.

The point is in the experience, not the compartmentalisation.

Here he has, yet again, created a world that is sumptuous to look at (and listen to, the soundtrack is stunning) and takes the audience on a journey that is a breath of fresh air filled with the expected unexpected Anderson style.

Ralph Fiennes is brilliant as M. Gustave, the famous concierge of the hotel in the fictional European Republic of Zubrowka, he skates the line betwixt farcical comedy and high drama beautifully and Tony Revoloro is a find as his trusty Lobby Boy as they embark on an adventure filled with mystery, murder, mayhem and Anderson mania.

This is Anderson’s biggest film to date as far as location and the amount of actors featured are concerned and it works. It weaves its way through the yarn taking on us a journey that is mesmerising, melodic and memorable.

A cavalcade of very talented actors come together in this beautifully cast film. F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum (surely a new Anderson mainstay), Harvey Keitel, Bob Balaban, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Lea Seydoux, Tom Wilkinson, Jude Law and of course, the mighty Sir William of Murray. All superb, all a joy.

Viewers are usually in either the ‘love him’ or ‘hate him’ camps but if you reside in the former you are in for a right royal treat.

By fictionalizing a time in European history, Anderson comments on and puts his own inimitable spin upon the actual events.

This is hugely enjoyable. Highly recommended.