Jumpcut’s Favourites: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Year: 2014
Directed by: Wes Anderson
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Jude Law, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton, LĂ©a Seydoux, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson.

WRITTEN BY COREY HUGHES

There are two rules in life that I have come to understand within my 21-years on Earth. Number one; don’t talk about Fight Club, and number two; never ask a cinephile what their favourite film is. By breaching the second rule, not only will you be met with a disapproving grunt, but also a 30-minute rant on which film is their favourite; taking into consideration how different moods influence their choice.

Yet I’ve never had this problem. I relish the opportunity to gush about my favourite film, expressing my adoration for it whilst simultaneously trying to make others love it as much as I do. The film I’m talking about here, of course, is Wes Anderson’s wonderful ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’.

Now, I believe there are two ways that you can approach this area of discussion. You can either talk about what you think is the best film, or explain the reasons why a particular film is your favourite, as, after all, your favourite doesn’t necessarily have to be good film. Yet, for me, my experience with ‘The Grand Budapest’ is a mixture of both.

There are a variety of reasons why I’d argue that ‘The Grand Budapest’ is a bona-fide masterpiece. The most obvious is Robert D. Yeoman’s delightful and completely mesmerising cinematography. Wes Anderson’s symmetrical framing and composition is in full effect here, but adding to that, Anderson and Yeoman’s choice to use three different aspect ratios for each of the three time periods in the film is nothing short of extraordinary, adding to the storytelling aesthetic that Anderson hoped to achieve.

Yeoman’s exquisite camerawork, especially the fluidity of the 90-degree and 180-degree whip-pan movements, is surpassed only by Wes Anderson’s trademark use of vibrant colour palettes; adding to the exoticness of the locations and buildings that Anderson has placed in the shop window.

Written with such extravagance by Anderson himself, ‘The Grand Budapest’ also boasts a tremendous cast, bringing back the usual suspects of Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Adrien Brody and Owen Wilson; accompanied by the terrific talents of Jeff Goldblum, Tilda Swinton and Willem Dafoe.

Yet it is Ralph Fiennes as the legendary hotel concierge Gustave H. who steals the show. Played with such charisma, intelligence and total narcissism, Gustave is perhaps the most iconic and memorable character that Wes Anderson has to offer, a real compliment with Anderson’s catalogue of superbly written figures such as Max Fischer in ‘Rushmore’ and Royal Tenenbaum in ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’. Fiennes brings so much flair and humour to the role, bringing the audience and his lobby boy Zero (Tony Revolori) on his remarkable journey filled with murder and conspiracy. We really shouldn’t sympathise with him, but somehow we do. He’s just a loveable asshole, really.

But above all its glitz and glamour, ‘The Grand Budapest’ earns its title as my favourite film for its huge influence on my life. It’s the main reason why I started to look at films in a different way, the reason why I was eager to study the medium in greater depth. It is essentially the reason why I started to review movies, which is something that I love doing.

And when it comes down to it, ‘The Grand Budapest’ is the film that springs to mind when the harsh realities of life become prevalent. As soon as I pop my copy of the Blu-ray in the player, everything exterior to my screen becomes irrelevant. The only thing that matters within that 99-minutes of runtime is my experience with Wes Anderson’s delightful masterpiece.

Isn’t that what films are for?

 

This Week In Film Trailers

Wonder Woman

With just under a month to go before ‘Wonder Woman’ is unleashed in cinemas across the globe, we are being treated to multiple new TV spots and posters, just in case you weren’t hyped up enough already. Fans of the TV Show ‘Gotham’ were treated to a sneak peek at ‘Wonder Woman’ on Monday night, which was shortly released online after it aired. This is one of my most anticipated films this year and with each trailer, TV spot, clip, and poster, my excitement continues to grow.

It’s been fantastic to see the support shown on social media for the film following some bloggers and websites questioning the films supposed lack of marketing in the lead up to it’s release. Daily I see people on Twitter counting down to it’s release, sharing the still, trailers and adverts, and generally spreading positivity and showing nothing but love for the film, cast, and crew.

“Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, Diana meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that’s raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.”

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Dunkirk

After a countdown began on the official website earlier this week, Twitter began speculating when to expect a new trailer for Christopher Nolan’s latest film. The speculating didn’t last long, as Monday afternoon a Tweet emerged with a teaser clip announcing the arrival of the trailer today!  Each day this week a similar Tweet has been sent from the Dunkirk account which said ‘Time is running out’ and ended with #400000Men, #933Ships, #26Miles, and #9Days. Then this afternoon the brand new trailer was released online in all it’s glory. There’s just something about the ‘Dunkirk’ trailers so far that I just really admire and just makes me even more excited to see it. They never just focus on one character in particular, giving me a feeling that this film will have a number of individuals it may focus on in particular, amongst lots of scenes with lots of soldiers involved. 

“In May 1940, Germany advanced into France, trapping Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk. Under air and ground cover from British and French forces, troops were slowly and methodically evacuated from the beach using every serviceable naval and civilian vessel that could be found. At the end of this heroic mission, 330,000 French, British, Belgian and Dutch soldiers were safely evacuated.”

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The Dark Tower

The highly sought after trailer for ‘The Dark Tower’ finally hit the web this week, and despite fans excitement and anticipation for it, it was met with some scepticism. Fans of the Stephen King novels thought that the tone and style of the film were different to what they had expected, but most were excited nonetheless.  Having not read the books (I know I know, they’re on my list!), I think the trailer looks pretty good, and I’m excited to see an Elba vs McConaughey showdown. 

“The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.”

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King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Guy Ritchie’s latest film is almost here and the final trailer was release his week, 2 weeks before the films hits the cinemas in the UK. Whilst there’s not much new footage amongst these TV spots, I think they do a really good job of sustaining peoples interest in seeing the film. There’s been quite a mixed reaction from those lucky enough to have already seen this at preview screenings, with numerous people saying they were slightly disappointing with it, and other praising Ritchie’s efforts.

“When young Arthur’s father is murdered, Vortigern (Jude Law), Arthur’s uncle, seizes the crown. Robbed of his birthright and with no idea who he truly is, Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, his life is turned upside down, and he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy whether he likes it or not.”

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It Comes at Night

‘It Comes at Night’ looks like another promising film from A24, the studio that brought us the Academy Award winning ‘Best Picture’, ‘Moonlight’, and other fantastic films such as ‘Room’, ‘Ex Machina’, ‘The Witch’, and many more. The trailer focuses on Joel Edgerton’s character and his family, who live in isolation as an unknown threat has forced them to lock themselves away in fear. I thought this trailer was a fantastic first look at the film and looks like it could be another winner from A24. The trailer doesn’t hold back on the tension and some of you may want to avert your eyes at one but in particular… You’ll know which bit I mean when you see it. 

“Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, the tenuous order a man (Joel Edgerton) has established with his wife and son is put to the ultimate test with the arrival of a desperate family seeking refuge. Despite the best intentions of both families, paranoia and mistrust boil over as the horrors outside creep ever-closer, awakening something hidden and monstrous within the man as he learns that the protection of his family comes at the cost of his soul.”

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Bonus: Blade Runner 2049

Now whilst the new trailer hasn’t been released yet, today we were treated with  surprise announcement that one is arriving Monday. What a way to start a week! 

Written by Tom Sheffield

Jude Law Cast As Young Albus Dumbledore In Fantastic Beast Sequel

It was only a matter of time before we expected to hear who’d bagged the role, but today it has been announced that Jude Law has officially been cast in the role of young Albus Dumbledore in the sequel to ‘Fantastic Beasts’. 

Dumbledore was mentioned a few times during the first ‘Fantastic Beasts’, mainly in the context of his relationship with the film’s protagonist, Newt Scamander, but many fans had hoped the sequels will explore Dumbledore’s epic duel with former friend turned dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald, whose true identity was revealed in the first film. Dumbledore, who at this point in his life is a Transfiguration professor at Hogwarts, argued against Newt’s expulsion from Hogwarts and we will hopefully get to see the two interact and see their relationship explored. 

David Yates will be returning to direct the sequel, due to hit cinemas in November 2018. Yates has said “Jude Law is a phenomenally talented actor whose work I have long admired, and I’m looking forward to finally having the opportunity to work with him” and continued to say “I know he will brilliantly capture all the unexpected facets of Albus Dumbledore as J.K. Rowling reveals this very different time in his life.”

J.K Rowling has previously confirmed there are 5 films for the franchise planned. 

Are you excited to see Law make his debut in the wizarding world as young Dumbledore?

Written by Tom Sheffield

Watch This Space: June 1 – June 7

Welcome to your weekly go-to-guide – WatchThisSpace – where we give you recommendations of films to watch in the cinema, on the television and those brilliant films hiding at the back of your DVD collection.

IN THE CINEMA

This week sees the release of ‘Insidious 3’. The franchise has been received with somewhat muted applause from critics and the films have become incredibly popular with audiences. An early June release does not seem a traditional date for a horror film, where Halloween would seem more appropriate, but we have no doubt screens will be sold out everywhere for this latest instalment.

On the other end of the spectrum we have a new Melissa McCarthy film in ‘Spy’. Whether you’re a fan of her work or not, there is enough star power here to make the film worth a watch. Early reviews are good, and with actors such as Jude Law, Jason Statham and even Miranda Hart popping up this promises to add some humour to the spy genre.

ON TELEVISION

Tuesday 23:05 GMT: Is Daniel Craig the best Bond ever? Evidence for that argument doesn’t come much stronger than his performance in ‘Skyfall’. Catch 007’s last outing, just in time for the release of ‘Spectre’, on ITV2.

Wednesday 21:00 GMT: Another rom-com? Or worse, a chick-flick? Absolutely not! Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy (there she is again) star in the side-splittingly hilarious Bridesmaids’ on Film4. Comedy at it’s best!

Saturday 15:05 GMT: This one comes as a strongly endorsed recommendation from my 5 year old daughter; weird and wonderful animated fun with ‘A Monster In Paris’ on Film4. The harshest little critic I know ranks this one very highly.

Saturday 18:30 GMT: From stylish monsters to something a little more realistic; fighting aliens in space! Catch the first of the latest ‘Star Trek’ franchise, again on trusty old Film4.

Sunday 21:00 GMT: I remember watching this back when it came out. A fantastic film and a great book too, Billy Elliot’ is a proper Northern drama set against the backrdrop of Thatcher’s Britain. A must-see on BBC4.

DIG IT OUT

This is our favourite part of the WatchThisSpace section. We delve into our own DVD collection and pick out some amazing films, that may not instantly spring to mind when you’re stuck for inspiration to make your movie night a success. Maybe you’ve never seen a film that we pick – or even heard of them for that matter – but you’re gonna have to trust us on this one, and Dig It Out.

The Damned United: With the news of FIFA officials being indicted on corruption charges, the game of football has never been brought into disrepute in such a way. Now might be a good time to watch a movie which reminds you of what the beautiful game is really about. Featuring a blistering and committed performance from Michael Sheen, this is a fine feature debut for director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables).

The Class Of ’92: Another film that reminds us just how beautiful the beautiful game really is, ‘The Class of ’92’ chronicles the success of David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and the rest of Manchester United’s modern heroes. The documentary is both moving and revealing, with plenty of honest interviews. Any football fan will relish reliving those spectacular closing moments of the 1999 Champions League Final.

Rush: The big news out of Disney this week was not particularly positive. Not least for Olivia Wilde, who is out of a job after the studio scrapped plans for a sequel in the ‘Tron’ series. However, what a good excuse to dig out this fascinating biopic, documenting the rivalry of F1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, in which Wilde plays Chris Hemsworth’s love interest.

Bigfoot And The Hendersons: A film I absolutely loved as a child, and one which I myself will be digging out this week to relive some of the finest work of Rick Baker. The Oscar-winning make-up artist retired from film this week and nothing shows off his work better than the 8ft tall sasquatch. This is a fantastically odd family film littered with old school humour.

This week’s WatchThisSpace was compiled by Jakob Lewis Barnes and Chris Winterbottom