The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Director: Wes Anderson
Writer: Wes Anderson
Based on: Stefan Zweig‘s writing (very loosely)
Cast: Ralph FiennesTony Revolori, F. Murray AbrahamJude Law, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Karl Markovics, Bob Balaban

Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes) is not just a concierge, he is probably the best concierge there ever was and he has his fans. One of them is his newly acquired protégé Zero (Tony Revolori), another a frequent guest at the Grand Budapest Hotel, Madame D. (Tilda Swinton). When she is f0und dead, though, suspicion falls on Gustave and he has to try and clear his name and to claim his inheritance, all with Zero in tow.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is probably the best film Anderson made since The Life Aquatic, if not his best film so far, period. It is crazy, enjoyable, funny, aesthetic and weird and has an awe-inspiring cast. Wonderful.


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Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Moonrise Kingdom
Director: Wes Anders0n
Writer: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
Cast: Kara Hayward, Jared Gilman, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Harvey Keitel, Bob Balaban

A small island in New England. Suzy (Kara Hayward) lives with her family and spends most of her time looking through binoculars, while Sam (Jared Gilman) is a khaki scout currently at Camp Lebanon. The two of them are very much in love, so they decided to run away together. When Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) notices the absence of his charge, he informs Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) and soon the entire island is involved in the search for the two kids.

Since I didn’t like Fantastic Mr. Fox that much, I was a bit worried about Moonrise Kingdom. But my worries were for nothing – I really, really, really loved this film. It was sweet and fun and amusing. Plus, it had a wonderful cast. Perfect.

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Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

Fantastic Mr. Fox is the newest stop-motion animation movie by Wes Anderson, based on the book by Roald Dahl, starring the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzmann, Michael Gambon, Owen Wilson, Jarvis Cocker and Willem Dafoe.

Mr. Fox (George Clooney) is a great thief, but sometimes, he risks too much. When Mrs. Fox (Meryl Streep) gets pregnant, he promises her that he would quit stealing.
A few years later, the Foxes move into a new tree, right across the three biggest and meanest farmers around, Boggis, Bunce and Bean (Michael Gambon). And Mr. Fox can’t help himself – he takes up the thieving again, bringing on problems not only for his family but for all the animals around him.

Even though the plot stayed basically the same as in the book, not much of Roald Dahl is left in the movie. Which in itself is not a bad thing (but a pity). Unfortunately, Anderson outwhimsied himself [(c) deadra] and just got way over the top with this film, at least for me.

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Absurdly Wonderful Weirdness and Asperger Autism

Again, movie time.

Yesterday’s cinematic experience: The Darjeeling Limited
It was perfect. Absolutely wonderful in it’s absurd weirdness. The first movie since Moulin Rouge! that left me wanting to see it again right away. (There are a lot of films I like to see over and over again but very few actually make me seriously consider just staying in the cinema to watch it again.)
K., who was with me, didn’t like it that much. She thought it over the top, which I can understand. It’s definitely more neurotic than The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou although not as strange because it doesn’t have any computer animated wildlife. :)

Anyway, a 9 thumbs up from my part.

When I came home, I decided, I wanted to plug into that wonderful isn’t-the-world-a-strange-and-amazing-and-beautiful-place-feeling by watching a rather mindless, romantic movie and chose Mozart and the Whale. It’s about two Asperger autists who fall in love and the problems they encounter during the building of their relationship.
Well. On the one hand it is a rather mindless, romantic movie with Josh Hartnett actually acting, and even not bad.
On the other hand, I have spent at least 2 hours since watching it researching if the portrayal of the Asperger syndrome in this movie was correct.
As you might know, I’m not an expert in this field. Through my parents’ work I’ve had my share of dealings with socially and mentally handicapped children, but I don’t know one autistic person and my picture of “them” is mostly shaped by movies like Rain Man. But I sat in this film, thinking “something isn’t right”. And it was not about the main characters behaving weirdly but somehow the wrong kind of weird behaviour. If that makes any sense.
Anyway, I read the comments on the imdb which are about 50:50 (“I’m an aspie and that’s not the way it is” and “I’m an aspie and I cried all the time because I saw myself in the movie”). I watched some videos on from a guy named aspie 182 who has Asperger’s and talks about the world the way he sees it. I read the wikipedia entry on Asperger’s and thought, “it was like that in the movie”.

There’s nothing I have access to on a quick level that contradicts what has been shown in the film but something just didn’t fit. I wish, I could put my finger on it.