The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) Film Review


I had held of watching this film for two reasons: firstly, I didn’t love Wes Anderson’s previous film, Moonrise Kingdom, and was a bit concerned I wouldn’t love this, and I have truly loved many of his previous films; second, I saw a trailer early on and thought that I had seen most of it. I was wrong on both counts. I love it and the trailer actually gave very little away.

Essentially, the film tells the story (in a somewhat convoluted fashion) of a bell boy working at The Grand Budapest Hotel. No, that is not it. There is a lot more, there is theft and betrayal, sex and love, cakes and guns, prison and trains. But to attempt to tell it could give away too much, and it is a story that it is a delight to simply watch unfold. The typical, beautiful style of Wes Anderson is apparently in every shot, and his large cast of some of the most wonderful actors is great. (Although extremely male-heavy, with no really good female roles. Wes Anderson usually does better on this count… shame)

I think that if you do not like Wes Anderson films, you won’t like this one. If you haven’t seen one, perhaps this might be the best to introduce you to him.

The Grand Budapest Hotel won Oscars for Best Achievement in Costume Design, Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score (Alexandre Desplat) and Best Achievement in Production Design. It was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing (Wes Anderson), Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Film Editing and Best Writing, Original Screenplay (Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness).


John Carter (2012) – Film Review

John Carter is a former American Civil War Confederate Soldier who, on retirement, has become a gold prospector. When he is leant on to join the fight against the Apache, he flees and finds himself in a cave with some amazing gold seams. At this point, a being appears from nowhere. John Carter kills him and is accidently transported to Mars. On Mars, there is a war between two cities, but John Carter ends up staying with a peaceful group, the Tharks. As the atmosphere and the make-up of his body varies greatly to that of the creatures of Mars, he is able to leap across the land, making him an asset to any army.

The film lost me at the start. It started during the war on Mars, and then skipped back to John Carter’s nephew receiving the will after John Carter’s death, and then went into the story, and by this stage, there were so many threads for me to follow. Once you add in the crazy science fiction names for everything, and I was lost. But I’m so glad I persevered, because it gets great. John Carter has an awesomely dry and wry sense of humour, and the story isn’t as complicated as you thin once you get into it.

Plus, there are huge spaceships that explode a lot, and I love explosions. The CGI creation of Tharks were hard for me to get used to at first, but as the personalities came through, I was won over. And then there is that gorgeous dog creature – he’s the best!