THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (2014)

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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.

4/5

BUY IT ON BLU-RAY DVD HERE

DOWNLOAD THE FILM ON iTUNES HERE

MOONRISE KINGDOM (2012)

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A young boy quits the scouts to run off with his true love, Wes Anderson style.

It would be remiss of me to talk about this film and not mention the cinematography, and while we expect something quirky, this really is a truly artistic endeavour.

My friend reviewed this recently and mentioned that the-

“Rule of the thirds is favoured by bang central composition”.

Bang central indeed. It is so mesmerising in such a beautiful way.

Tableaux vivants all the way. And it brings with it the Anderson quirk of characters (spread it with credit-Thanks Daniel Kitson).

Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Bob Balaban and a few of nice surprises, but these actors play support to the main two kids in love.
Jared Gillman as Sam and Kara Hayward as Suzy bring the right kind of odd to this world and because the tone is as Anderson as it gets it works beautifully. Rarely do we see love stories about children, for obvious reasons, but the tone and handling of this one is pitch perfect.

There are times when I have felt there is a little style over substance with Wes Anderson, he’s clearly passionate about his worlds but there are times when I feel that it’s not connecting with me emotionally (The Life Aquatic). Maybe, that’s the point. If I went back and rewatched TLA, would I feel differently?
Not here though, the charm and warmth is evident all over this film, from the soundtrack to the script, from the actors to the artwork on Suzy’s books, it’s here in spades.

If you haven’t seen it and you are a fan of the big quirk, check it, if however, you can’t see past the paint strokes and the ARTifice, keep walking.

I loved it.

4/5

BUY THE BLU-RAY DVD HERE

DOWNLOAD THE FILM ON iTUNES HERE