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Entries in Grand Budapest Hotel (10)

Friday
Apr042014

The Faces of Jude

Here's abstew on one of TFE's very favorite actors

This past Wednesday saw the limited release of the British film Dom Hemingway about a safecracker that is recently released from prison after serving 12 years. The marketing material is also quick to point out that he's played by Jude Law because it's not immediately apparent.(The film also stars The Mother of Dragons herself, Emilia Clarke, as his...daughter! Well, at least she's not the love interest. At least, I hope not.)

Sporting a couple gold teeth, the craziest mutton chops not normally seen outside of a Civil War reenactor, and more girth than usual (Law gained 30 pounds for the role and it's not even Oscar bait!), the role is certainly a departure for the man that was once Dickie Greenleaf. (Although he's still kinda sexy as Dom. Am I crazy?)

Even in his early roles it was often noted that Law was a character actor trapped in the body of a movie star. Although he's been named People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive before, he's hardly an actor to rely solely on his good looks. Throughout his career he's been allowed to embrace the character actor aspect of his roles and experiment with his appearance along the way.

Let's take a look back at some of his most memorable looks!

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Sunday
Mar302014

The Weekend's Only Pun-Free Box Office Report

Amir reporting. You’ve heard it all: Noah stormed the theatres; audiences flooded to see it; “Oh, Noah! The film isn’t very good;” Aronofski’s drowning in his worst reviews since The Fountain was showered with… oh fuck it! This will be the only pun-free box office report you will read this Sunday. (But yes, since you’re asking, Noah did sail comfortably ahead of the competition!)

With even stronger numbers coming in from abroad, Aronofsky’s latest is going to be a massive international hit despite the (mostly made up) controversies that preceded its release. On the other hand, God’s Not Dead barely dropped at all from last week’s astonishing sales. Perhaps Freestyle Releasing, the film’s distributor, has intentionally pit it against Noah to offer an ideological alternative? Am I reading too much into it? Possibly.

BOX OFFICE
01 NOAH $44 *new*
02 DIVERGENT $26.5 (cum. $95.2) Review / Jai Courtney
03 MUPPETS MOST WANTED $11.3 (cum. $33.2)
04 MR PEABODY & SHERMAN $9.5 (cum. $94.9) this franchise's history
05 GOD'S NOT DEAD $9.0 (cum. $22.0)
06 THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL  $8.8 (cum. $24.4)
07 SABOTAGE $5.3 *new*
08 NEED FOR SPEED  $4.3 (cum. $37.7)
09 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE $4.3 (cum. $101.1)
10 NON-STOP $4 (cum. $85.1) Amir's Review 

Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel is another film that continues its powerful streak, and for good reason. Despite what you might hear elsewhere, this is Anderson’s best film, give or take Fantastic Mr. Fox and a real delight. Most of his films look like pastries; this one tastes as sweet, too. With a worldwide gross that is already in the ballpark of the total of his biggest hits ($69m for Budapest to Moonrise’s 68m and Tenenbaum’s 71m) it is clear that Anderson’s dioramic designs and eccentric humor are no longer for a niche audience. Irrespective of what one thinks of the film, it’s worth celebrating that an auteur with such a distinctive vision can do solid business without compromising his artistic sensibilities.

Cesar Chavez, a rare chance to see Michael Peña in the lead and the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle Sabotage were the weekend’s other wide releases. Sight unseen, I’m willing to bet the latter is the biggest waste of Olivia Williams’ talent. On the limited side, two documentaries opened for the lucky readers living in major markets. Mistaken for Strangers follows the unfairly derided band The National and is as close as one can get to an interesting music documentary. Finding Vivian Maier is artless as a film but its subject, a mysteriously reclusive street photographer who spent decades working as a nanny, is so fascinating that it makes up for the shortcomings.

What have you watched this weekend?

Thursday
Mar272014

The Linkettes

Wonkette crazed religious rightwing preacher says that Frozen will make you gay. And a witch!
Pajiba saves me the trouble of doing a Yes No Maybe So on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) traiser
24 Frames Per Second Mynt Marsellus follows up on that "screenplays you must read" article we were discussing the other day with 5 screenplays by women or people of color to add diversity to it. Fine choices
People Emma Watson looks great in menswear

In Contention on the final James Gandolfini film The Drop from the director of Bullhead
The Exploding Kinetoscope demands that you take Summer Stock (1950) more seriously. There's more to that Judy Garland film than "Get Happy"
Los Angeles Magazine James Franco on his poetry and being on that "leaked" list of Lindsay's lovers...
TFE ...icymi we discussed that list here
Gilt City if you have $175-$235 to spare you can see Cate Blanchett, Isabelle Huppert and Elizabeth Debicki in The Maids on stage here in NY. Good goddess, what a trio. That's above my pay grade but if you see it, do tell me how magical it was. (Cheaper worse tickets go on sale and will surely sell out instantly) on Monday. 
MNPP [nsfw] JA's off to Italy but first a bath and a Mr Ripley reminder
AV Club... whoa. OCD VHS recordings are being put to good use in San Francisco 
Film School Rejects "are you hating movies properly?"

Today's Must See
Oooh, I don't know how I missed this yesterday but Just Jared posted set pics from Suffragette the new Carey Mulligan/Meryl Streep political period piece. FWIW, because no site ever gives credit on these things when they post set pics, the costumes are by Jane Petrie, a relatively new Costume Designer whose previous credits include genre pictures like An American Haunting, Moon and 28 Days Later. But she's moving straight into prestige films. She's got Suffragette as well as the Stephen Frears Lance Armstrong biopic if that one stays on track. 

Meryl in "Suffragette"

Today's Must Read
Ester Bloom, who wrote a couple of pieces here at TFE a few years ago, has a terrific essay up on Flavorwire about the sexuality (or lack thereof) in Wes Anderson's films and how Grand Budapest Hotel is and isn't a significant departure in this regard. Consider this bit.

Anderson is famous for fawning over his symmetrical landscapes the way other directors dote on their female stars; if he is turned on by anything, it seems to be dioramas. The people who fall in love in Anderson’s universes are either actual children, like the awkward tweens of Moonrise Kingdom, or metaphorical ones, like the emotionally stunted Herman Blume of Rushmore and Richie Tenenbaum of The Royal Tenenbaums. And all hearts break in the end.

It's a really good read so click on over

Sunday
Feb162014

Berlinale Wraps: Uma, Prizes, Foreign Film Oscar Hopefuls

Richard Linklater with his Silver BearOne of these years we will make it to the Berlinale! The festival closes today and things go quiet on the megawatt festival front until Cannes in May (though festival season never really ends what with regional festivals everywhere and Tribeca, which we'll cover, in the Srping).

Early English language punditry assumed that Richard Linklater's 12 year spanning Boyhood (my review) or Wes Anderson's reportedly delightful Grand Budapest Hotel would win but english language press always assumes that about American pictures. James Schamus jury thought otherwise, though they honored both with prizes, giving the Golden Bear to the Chinese noir Black Coal, Thin Ice. In fact, a lot of prizes went to Asian cinema this year.

Awards, Umas, and Oscar hopefuls after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb062014

"Budapest" in Berlin: Fun Press Quotes from the Cast

The 64th Annual Berlinale began today and though The Film Experience can't be there (we're still recovering from Sundance) we are watching from afar. The events began early today with jury introductions and the press conference for Opening Night Gala film Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel. The conference was fun if not exactly informative. Wes Anderson kept getting questions about the aspect ratio (it's apparently square like a 30s movie) and questions about his influences and where his ideas spring from that he didn't really answer but for generalities. He watched a lot of Ernst Lubitsch for this one and admitted that he loves Stanley Kubrick and his "systems", too, whatever that means. I wouldn't have ever grouped Lubitch and Kubrick, myself, but I'm pleased that someone out there can alchemize them. 

Herewith the best moments featuring Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, and more...

Click to read more ...