7:00 PM, 28th June, 2014
The Grand Budapest Hotel is written and directed by Wes Anderson and tells of the adventures of Gustave (Fiennes), a famous concierge, and Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori), the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. Both men work at the famous European hotel, The Grand Budapest, which is lucky as a film called The Ibis Budget Hotel doesn’t really have the same ring to it.
The film is set in Europe in the 1930s and follows Gustave and Zero as they get caught up in a crazy story involving a rich woman’s death, an affair, a valuable painting and a bunch of very annoyed would-be heirs. The cast is packed with big name actors; including Jude Law, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Tilda Swinton and Harvey Keitel; but it is newcomer Tony Revolori who gives the standout performance. The story is told through Zero’s eyes as he begins a new job working at the hotel alongside Gustave and finds himself involved in much more than he ever thought possible.
With such a well-told and interesting story and some really great performances there are many very good reasons to spend the evening at the Budapest Hotel (for tonight only also known as the ANU Film Group).
8:50 PM, 28th June, 2014
The Counselor is a crime thriller – but it’s not quite what you might expect it to be. Based on its trailers, one might expect a lot of action scenes and explicit violence in a film that appears to be about crime. In reality, there is very little of either. The Counselor is actually thoughtful and philosophical – not surprising as the story comes from Cormac McCarthy, the author of “No Country for Old Men”.
Fassbender puts in an impressive performance, making the anonymous protagonist – the titular Counselor – instantly relatable despite his quest to do a drug deal with Bardem and Diaz. The Counselor is a complex and interesting character, and Fassbender hits all the right notes as the story crescendos to a hard-hitting climax. Diaz also provides a moment to rival Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct on the bonnet of Bardem’s car.
Bardem’s performance as Reiner is also noteworthy. Reiner is hopelessly addicted to decadence and luxury. Bardem half saunters, half swaggers around in his colorful pants, lurid printed shirts, rose tinted aviators and spiked hair; lounging languidly, sipping cocktails, showing off his pet leopards.
As with his previous work, most notably Blade Runner, director Scott’s visual style perfectly complements the interplay between the characters. Here, it is subtle, allowing the scenes to play out while letting the actors hold the audience’s attention.