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calendar   Thursday - February 12, 2015

fun flick, easy dinner

We watched The Grand Budapest Hotel tonight. What a hoot. It’s an American film (I think) starring ... what seems like almost everybody, actually ... that feels like a foreign art house movie. I found myself looking for English subtitles, it feels that foreign. It’s a comedy with spontaneous tragedies, a murder mystery, a romance, a never ending chase, a story within a flashback within a flashback within a story, and a coming of age tale, a biopic look back on a life, with a a touch of magic and more than a bit of madness. And The Fallen Madonna With Big Boobies, by Van Klump. Well, almost. It’s metaphor, allusion and illusion. Like, it’s art, dude. If you want it to be. Otherwise it’s a madcap romp.

WITH: Ralph Fiennes (M. Gustave), Tony Revolori (Zero), F. Murray Abraham (Mr. Moustafa), Mathieu Amalric (Serge X.), Adrien Brody (Dmitri), Willem Dafoe (Jopling), Jeff Goldblum (Deputy Kovacs), Harvey Keitel (Ludwig), Jude Law (Young Writer), Bill Murray (M. Ivan), Edward Norton (Henckels), Saoirse Ronan (Agatha), Jason Schwartzman (M. Jean), Léa Seydoux (Clotilde), Tilda Swinton (Madame D.), Tom Wilkinson (Author), Bob Balaban (M. Martin) and Owen Wilson (M. Chuck).

I copied it to the DVR so we can watch it again. And again. It’s that kind of film. You need to watch it at least twice more. The first time through you’re all What the heck am I watching? What did he just say? OMG! The second time you catch the other 2/3 of the jokes and jibes you missed the first time. The third time you notice the cinematography and the costuming. It’s so much more than just a movie. It’s film. It’s art, but comfortable non-confrontational art. Charming. Film-wise, it has a bigger magical sparkle than Moonrise Kingdom. It’s a Wes Anderson directed film, if that means anything to you. Some folks can’t stand him. Beats me. My bet is that, if you were charmed by Moonrise, you’ll adore this one as well. [ Ha, what do you know, Moonrise Kingdom is also a Wes Anderson piece. I didn’t know that until just now, searching up a couple “professional” reviews. ]

As much as “The Grand Budapest Hotel” takes on the aspect of a cinematic confection, it does so to grapple with the very raw and, yes, real stuff of humanity from an unusual but highly illuminating angle. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is a movie about the masks we conjure to suit our aspirations, and the cost of keeping up appearances. “He certainly maintained the illusion with remarkable grace,” one character remarks admiringly of another near the end of the movie. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” suggests that sometimes, as a species, that’s the best we can do. Anderson the illusion-maker is more than graceful, he’s dazzling, and with this movie he’s created an art-refuge that consoles and commiserates. It’s an illusion, but it’s not a lie.

As a carefully constructed miniaturized universe, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is that most Andersonian of endeavors, evincing the deadpan drolleries, screwball action and dollhouse aesthetic that have alternately charmed and chagrined filmgoers for the past couple of decades.

Set in a castlelike hotel in the fictional Mitteleuropean country of Zubrowka on the eve of World War II, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” revolves — like all of Anderson’s films — around a quirky middle-aged man and the precocious boy he takes under his wing. As such, the film fully engages one of the fascinating tensions that have always animated Anderson’s fussily decorated cinematic jewel boxes, namely how one learns to become a man within a universe of characters so stylized and artfully concocted that they seem barely human.

This is going to become a cult favorite, perhaps up there with Princess Bride or Highlander. Well, maybe not that high, but at least up there with Life of Pi and My Life As A Dog.

I have no idea if this one won this award, that award, or how many. Or none at all. Don’t know, don’t care. It was awesome.

I’m very grateful that my cable TV remote has a pause button. I made up a 3 day batch of chili while watching this 100 minute flick, so I was back and forth to the kitchen plenty of times. Plus I made up pan fried pork chops, cheese buns, and salad to use up some leftovers. Pause and Rewind are teh greatest.




easy 3 day chili recipe below

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/12/2015 at 03:11 AM   
Filed Under: • Fine-DiningMOVIES •  
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