This is my favourite Wes Anderson film by a country mile but that's… MoreThis is my favourite Wes Anderson film by a country mile but that's not saying much as I'm not a fan of his previous work as I've never quite got his humour so to speak. I did find The Grand Budapest Hotel funny but you've got to like a bit of slapstick and silliness although a lot of the humour is physical and visual in its nature. It looks great too has an authentic feel for the time in which it is set. Add to this an all-star cast with not a bad performance amongst them.
Set in between the world wars in the 1900s Gustave (Feinnes) is the concierge at the prestigious Grand Budapest Hotel. He is the king of his craft and everybody warms to him and especially so the wealthy females of shall we say the more senior variety. One of these is Madame D (Swinton) who passes away and leaves Gustave a rare painting called Boy With Apple in her will. This does not go down well with her family and Gustave along with his faithful bell boy Zero steal the painting. This leads to a chase with the authorities suspecting foul play in Madame Ds death with Gustave the chief suspect. Also interested in the painting is Jopling (Dafoe) who seems to be a member of Madame Ds family or a hitman or both. There is also a ridiculous prison escape and a bonkers shootout in the hotel.
What can you say about a cast that boasts the likes of Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel and Edward Norton (to name but a few)? Stellar casting and all are good without exception. Ralph Feinnes is particularly funny in the lead role and this surprised me as I wouldn't have listed comedy as one of his major strengths. I particularly liked Norton's policeman and Jeff Goldblum and Willem Dafoe also gave performances that I liked.
I liked this a lot more than I thought I would and the prison escape was particularly funny. Not laugh out loud belly laughs or anything like that but very enjoyable nonetheless. Maybe the Grand Budapest Hotel represents a turning of the corner for me and Mr Anderson and for this reason I await his next offering with a new found positivity.
I've been meaning to watch this for some time and the recent passing… MoreI've been meaning to watch this for some time and the recent passing of Robin Williams gave me a nudge in the ribs. I found One Hour Photo to be compelling and this is in the main because of Williams's performance. He is intense and certainly gets across a sense of loneliness that I couldn't help but feel sorry for. My overriding emotion towards his character Sy was not disgust or hatred but instead more pity and however misguided his actions I did see his point.
Sy is a photo developer for a Wall Mart style chain and has been so for over a decade. He is a solitary character whose job gives him a unique insight into the lives of others. This ranges from mad old bats who take photos of their cats and men who take pictures of their lovers in compromising positions. Possibly to fill the void in his own life he involves himself in the life of one family who are regular customers to the point where he stalks them and try's all kinds of methods to worm his way into the families affections. Through his job he learns of a betrayal within that family that tips him over the edge and leads him to behave in an inappropriate manner.
The subject matter will not be to everyone's tastes and some might find it a little disturbing. Williams is excellent as Sy and it seemed to me that life and people in general got some kind of perverse pleasure out of figuratively kicking him in the privates. His boss for example clearly had a dislike for him and I felt he enjoyed twisting the knife when firing him from a job that Sy not only loved but was everything to him. Maybe that's one moral of the story, be kind to those less fortunate than you or face the possible consequences. I can certainly understand the notion of those who are privileged not always appreciating what they have and how from the outside looking in its those who perhaps don't deserve it who get the breaks? I guess maybe its human nature to want something we don't have and the Sy's of this world are destined to be denied a love that they would respect and cherish if they had it.