Posts Tagged bill murray

Checking In To The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel

A Wes Anderson film is always going to look like a Wes Anderson film, creating a consistency that die hard fans have come to love, and critics might find exhausting. Anderson’s latest offering, The Grand Budapest Hotel, relies on many of the familiar Anderson-isms that we have come to expect of the director: vivid colors, outlandish characters, plot twists that remain whimsical even when exploring dark territory, and sets that look lovingly and painstakingly hand designed. I could probably get away with ending my review there; if you like Wes Anderson’s aesthetic, you’ll enjoy The Grand Budapest Hotel, and if you find it tedious, you should probably skip it.

Boom. Review done, under 200 words.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Okay, for those of you still reading, you might be looking for something a bit more substantive, and I am quite happy to oblige. The Grand Budapest Hotel is a story inside of a story inside of a story, creating a narrative that presents itself as a cinematic Russian nesting doll. Our framing story is that of an author recounting his most notable interview; that interview, in turn, is of a successful citizen of the fictional country of Zubrowka who tells the story of his time as the lobby boy of the Grand Budapest Hotel in the 1930s. Fortunately, Anderson doesn’t spend too much time on either framing story, spending most of his time with the lobby boy and his mentor, M. Gustave, avoiding what could have made for a confusing set of timelines. Read the rest of this entry »


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The Monuments Men: Some Art Can’t Be Saved

The Monuments Men

It has been said that art is the cornerstone of civilization, an integral thread in the tapestry that makes up our cultural heritage, a defining piece of the puzzle that defines not only society, but also humanity at large. As I reflect on The Monuments Men, a film about the preservation of art during the second World War, I’m reminded of a George Bernard Shaw quote: ‘Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.’ World War II was a horrific affair, bringing to life the harsh reality that truly does make the world unbearable at times, and the idea of art as a safeguard against the often ugly nature of the world rings true. With The Monuments Men, director George Clooney attempts to instill in the viewer a sense of wonder about the ‘old masters’ of art, and a belief that the preservation of art, and thus the preservation of culture and civilization, is paramount even to the value of human life. Thought gifted with a brilliant premise and a cast that looks encouraging on paper, Clooney’s vision never quite takes off. Sadly, we’re instead left with a film that is dead on arrival. Read the rest of this entry »

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