All posts tagged: The Grand Budapest Hotel

My Ranking of the Best Picture Nominees

Here’s my ranking of this year’s Best Picture nominations – from my least favorite to favorite. 8. American Sniper Beyond the fact that I did not like American Sniper from a social and political standpoint, I also thought it was poorly assembled and lacked substantial character development. It basically felt like 134 minutes of Clint Eastwood shoving his personal opinions on contemporary American war culture down my throat, and it wasn’t a pleasant feeling. The performances were good, but the lackluster script really didn’t provide the actors with the opportunity to do more than just be good. 7. Boyhood I will admit that Boyhood was a spectacular experiment in filmmaking, but in my opinion, it fell short. Read more about my thoughts on Linklater’s film in ‘Boyhood’: In Defense of my Dissenting Opinion. 6. The Theory of Everything The Theory of Everything provides an intimate look at the relationship between Stephen Hawking and his first wife Jane Wilde Hawking. It’s a very slick film – with crisp visuals and sensational performances. Eddie Redmayne’s portrayal of Hawking is spectacularly convincing and Felicity Jones’ performance is subtle and honest. Despite …

A Few of My Favorite Films From 2014

There are soooooo many films from 2014 that I desperately want to see, but haven’t had the chance to. Some of those films include Selma, Whiplash, Goodbye to Language, Inherent Vice, and Citizenfour – among countless others. I decided against doing a Top 10 list this year because there is no way that my picks will be representative of the work that premiered in 2014. Instead, I’ll share a list of movies I liked and discuss my #1 film of the year. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer) Chef (Jon Favreau) Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn) Top Five (Chris Rock) Interstellar (Christopher Nolan) Happy Christmas (Joe Swanberg) The One I Love (Charlie McDowell) Life Itself (Steve James) Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy) The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson) They Came Together (David Wain) Wild (Jean-Marc Vallée) Now on to my absolute favorite film of the year,  Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. It’s difficult for me to put into words exactly why I love Birdman as much as I do. It’s magical – magnetic – deep – dark – wild – wonderful, and everything in between. I sat in the theater and experienced an entire spectrum of emotions, …

Standout Performances of the Year

In no particular order, here are a few of my favorite performances of the year based on what films and television shows I watched in 2014. What performances stood out to you this year? Chadwick Boseman (Get on Up) → Although Get on Up had its flaws, Chadwick Boseman’s performance as James Brown was practically flawless. I believe he deserves an Oscar nomination, but unfortunately that’s not likely to happen. Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel) → Ralph Fiennes is delightful as Mr. Gustave H. I could watch The Grand Budapest Hotel an infinite amount of times and never get tired of his dapper and charming character. Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”) → Kevin Spacey is Kevin Spacey, so he’s basically amazing in anything and everything, but there’s something special about his role as Frank Underwood. When he breaks the fourth wall and talks to you in that smooth southern accent, it’s awfully scary and spectacular. Reese Witherspoon (Wild) → Reese Witherspoon is a great actress and truly takes the audience somewhere deep and personal in Wild. Matthew McConaughey (“True Detective”) → Rust Cohle is possibly the most dark …

Moments of Symmetry – “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

If “auteur” were defined on Urban Dictionary.com, it would include a picture of Wes Anderson and stills from some of his uniquely well-crafted films. However, it has not been defined, so no such definition exists. Maybe when I’m bored I’ll add it.  Anyhoo, back to Wes Anderson//auteur theory… In recent years (with films such as The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, and Fantastic Mr. Fox) Wes Anderson’s visual aesthetic has seem to become even more meticulous and well defined. In a short video entitled Mise En Scène & The Visual Themes of Wes Anderson, Anderson discusses his visual style in various interviews (including one with Terry Gross), mentioning his interest in theater as a recurring influence (video credit: Way Too Indie).   After watching The Grand Budapest Hotel (which for the record, I absolutely loved) one aesthetic tendency became very clear to me – even more so than in any Wes Anderson film I had seen before: s y m m e t r y. Nearly ever shot is painstakingly symmetrical, which lends itself to creating the sort of whimsical world within reality that Wes Anderson is known for. The …