Friday, March 14, 2014
You can tell a real auteur's film is out by the number of Philly Film people who show up at the preview screening. It becomes a house filled with the higher ups of film organizations and the upper echelon of movie reviewers and such... Writer/Director Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Darjeeling Limited, The Royal Tenenbaums and more) definitely has the power to elicit this kind of gathering.
Anderson's new film The Grand Budapest Hotel has his signature stamp all over it: peculiar, highly imaginative, visually stunning, cameos galore, artistic and really not so much a story, as a tale.
I think this writer perfectly summed up the synopsis:
In “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” a charming murder mystery and crime caper set against the backdrop of a troubled Eastern Europe about to head into an era of fascism, Ralph Fiennes stars as Gustave H., a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel who enchants his guests with a renowned hospitality that makes the mountain chalet the destination of the wealthy and affluent in Europe. A new lobby boy (Tony Revolori), the mysterious death of an aged guest (Tilda Swinton) and the disappearance of a priceless painting (Boy With Apple) set off a chain of events that make for a madcap adventure. But of course, it all comes with a price and ends up much more poignant than you’d expect. - Rodrigo Perez The Playlist
|Young Zero (Tony Revolori) and his pastry making girlfriend Agatha (Saoirse Ronan)|
The Grand Budapest Hotel is a story within a story, Anderson gives credit to 1920-1930's Austrian novelist Stefan Zweig for inspiring the movie and shaping its elan. So there's a novelist character in the beginning resembling Zweig (Tom Wilkinson) to set the stage as it were (being interrupted by a perfect faced, pre-Depression Era, naughty little boy, thrown in for good measure). This introduction then leads to The Grand Budapest Hotel's current state of dilapidation and its sparse, solitary, long-term guests, one of which is a writer (Jude Law) who becomes curious about one of the hotel's newest guests, which turns out to be the owner of the once illustrious establishment. The owner invites the writer to dine with him, and over a 5 course meal, proceeds to tell him the strange and winding tale of how he, a formerly poor immigrant, Zero Moustafa, (F. Murray Abraham) came to own The Grand Budapest Hotel.
I was particularly taken with this scene, as I've had a recurring fantasy of a similar nature; dining in a fine, old mansion, estate, castle or grand hotel, having course after course of gastronomic wonders, paired with wine and spirits; seated at an elaborately decorated table, across from a fascinating person with an amazing life story to tell. The best part, it's not a conversation, I can ask questions, nod my head and indicate that I'm listening, and I am, but I'm also taking in the atmosphere and relishing each dish to grace my plate. ahhh...
|crossed keys lapel pin given out at screening|
Around the Web
|This painting plays a major part in #TheGrandBudapestHotel|
Visiting the ladies room after the screening a woman in her late 60's told me she enjoyed the movie except for the filth. I said there were no sex scenes and very little strong language, she replied, I'm talking about the painting!
I was unaware until my friend Diane told me, that this painting is actually quite valuable by artist Egon Schiele
Egon Scheile (a protege of Gustav Klimt) is known for being grotesque, erotic, pornographic, and disturbing, focusing on sex, death, and discovery. He focused on portraits of others as well as himself. In his later years, while he still worked often with nudes, they were done in a more realist fashion.
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T &T's LAMB Score: 4.5 outta 5
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