Film Friday #173

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

It’s 1932 and elderly dowager countess Madame D (Tilda Swinton) is visiting The Grand Budapest Hotel, mostly to indulge in the “charms” of her dear friend, the legendary concierge Gustav H (Ralph Fiennes). Two days after she leaves, Gustav discovers that she has been murdered and much to her son’s (Adrien Brody) disgust, left a priceless painting to him. With the aid of his young lobby boy, Zero (Tony Revolori), Gustav nicks the painting and the two of them leg it. But it’s not long before Gustav ends up in prison accused of Madame D’s murder and everyone who might know the truth starts to disappear. It will take everything he and Zero have to to put things right in an adventure of a lifetime. Where to even start with this one… first of all it is absolutely visually striking. From the candy pinks of the 1932 Grand Budapest to it’s later 80’s orange to the incredible snowscapes and Zero’s girlfriend, Agatha’s (Saoirse Ronan) magnificent cakes, everything is beautiful. It would barely matter if there even was a storyline, you could just enjoy looking at it. Fiennes and Revolori have magnificent chemistry and you can absolutely buy the idea that these two “alone in the world” characters have formed a weird little family of their own. Pair this up with some vintage action, a bucket load of quirky characters, a hilarious script and a star-studded cast and how could you possibly go wrong. For me, without question my favourite Wes Anderson film yet. 4.5/5

Pas de beret, pas de beret... jazz hands!

Pas de beret, pas de beret… jazz hands!

North Sea Texas (2011)

In a small Dutch seaside town, Pim (Jelle Florizoone) lives with his mother (Eva van der Gucht) and accordion player who likes a drink and a bit of a party a lot more than she likes being a mom. Feeling neglected Pim spends a lot of his time with a family who lives down the beach, connecting not only with surrogate mom, Marcella (Katelijne Damen) but also with her son, Gino (Mathias Vergels) and daughter, Sabrina (Nina Marie Kortekaas). On Pim’s fifteenth birthday he and Gino become lovers and he falls head over heels. The only problem is that Gino is not at peace with his sexuality… in fact he has a girlfriend… and Sabrina has more than a little crush on Pim. This sweet romantic drama captures the pain and confusion of first love alongside the loss of a parent. Although I found the ending a bit abrupt, I enjoyed going on Pim’s journey with him and the performances from all the actors, especially the teenage stars were excellent.Β 3.5/5


“Basically the helmets are to protect us from low-flying seagulls…. those fuckers do not mess around”

Enchanted (2007)

After cartoon Disney heroine, Giselle (Amy Adams) is cursed into the real world by the evil Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon), she finds herself penniless confused and alone in New York City. Fortunately she crashes into the life of family mediator, Robert (Patrick Dempsey) who reluctantly helps her because she gets on so well with his young daughter, Morgan (Rachel Covey). Although his fiancee, Nancy (Idina Menzel) is all that thrilled. As a very practical, unromantic man Robert finds Giselle’s endless joy and enthusiasm frustrating and puzzling, not to mention her ability to summon animals and make clothing out of curtains, but somehow he just bring it into his heart to kick her out of his life. At the same time Giselle’s fiance, Prince Edward (James Marsden) has followed her into the real world to rescue her, much to the disgust of Narissa, who has sent her slimy assistant Nathaniel (Timothy Spall) to stop him. This charming piece of froth pokes fun at Disney stereotypes, while still pandering to them somewhat, which works really well. Both Adams and Mardsen are inspired casting with some of the funniest moments coming from Prince Edward, who is a total airhead. It’s all a bit predictable and saccharine but if you’re after a good Saturday afternoon movie, Enchanted is a great choice. 3/5

Giselle dreamed of a life without giant meringues attached to her arms

Giselle dreamed of a life without giant meringues attached to her arms

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

When a new consultant (Alec Baldwin) comes into a competitive real estate agency, the entire office is thrown into turmoil. In possession of a box of hot leads, he insists that only those who can close their old stale leads will have access to the new ones… and those who don’t close are going to lose their jobs. Cue begging, scheming, lying and thieving as the veteran salesmen try to do everything in their power to keep their careers alive – after all, it’s all about the leads. Glengarry Glen Ross takes part over the space of twenty-four hours so it’s pretty fast-paced and also all about the conversations between its star-studded cast members, which include Ed Harris, Al Pacino, Alan Arkin and Jack Lemmon. If you have ever worked with salespeople a lot of the way they think, behave and talk will seem familiar and in particular Baldwin’s opening diatribe is a joyous rant full of quotable lines. “Coffee is for closers” anyone? Overall I found it a little bit too macho and towards the end I was a bit over all the the verbal masturbation but it’s still a really interesting watch, which definitely won’t change any negative feelings you might already have about estate agents. 3/5

"I don't care if you have to sell your grandmother, you close those deals!"

“I don’t care if you have to sell your grandmother, you close those deals!”


  1. I have only seen Echanted and Glen Gary Glen Ross, but I think both are better than you do. Well, anyway, I would have given them higher scores – I agree with your commentary. I would have scored both a 4/5, probably. I just think the flaws you mention more minor than you do.

    Glad to see you like Budapest Hotel so much!

    1. Havn’t had a chance to see the first one yet, but seen the other two. The first is very fluffy and warm and I did have a soft-ish spot for it, but I really think the second is superb.

      1. Okay. The first is Grand Budapest Hotel, which you haven’t seen? The second is North Sea Texas, which you think is fluffy and warm? And the one for which you have a soft spot is Enchanted?

        Just trying to make sure I’m following this correctly. πŸ™‚

        1. I prefer to read reviews of a film I haven’t seen but plan to see, after I see the film, and then go back. Yes I am a smooth talker πŸ˜‰ Obviously scrolled down too quickly, though the (real) second film doesn’t sound like something I’d like (puts hands in pockets, whistles and hopes no one noticed).

          1. Okay so the one for which you have the warm spot is Glengary Glen Ross? Yeah. Me too. I think because I once worked in a sales setting with bosses just like Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey, and a “Coffee is For Closers” type sales culture. That movie might be a touch personal for me.

            1. It’s quite something πŸ™‚ I don’t drink coffee so I think I’d been fine as a salesman πŸ˜‰

              1. πŸ™‚

                At the time I didn’t drink it either. But I still wasn’t any good.

      2. Abbi

        You totally have to see Grand Budapest Hotel. It’s AWESOME!

    2. Abbi

      I might have been a little bit harsh but both were really watchable.

      I LOVED Grand Budapest Hotel. One of Wes Anderson’s best.

  2. Really glad you loved Budapest Hotel, I thought it was wonderful. Looks amazing and just such fun. And Fiennes was brilliant too.

    1. Abbi

      It was so much fun! I loved Fiennes in it!

  3. Cannot wait to see Grand Budapest Hotel. Glad you appreciated it!

    1. Abbi

      It really lived up to the review!

  4. My goal is to go see Budapest Hotel this weekend. Glad you liked it! Glenngary is a classic. I agree Enchanted is super cute totally sticky sweet. πŸ™‚

    1. Abbi

      You will not be disappointed!

      I am going to start yelling “Coffee is for closers!” at my team. Lol!

      1. Yay I’m excited. I like that you should totally be like Alec Baldwin lol.

  5. Great Friday! As a big Wes fan, I’m really looking forward to Budapest Hotel, and I’ve heard only wonderful thinks about GGR, which I’m very curious about.

    North Sea Texas’s premise sounds intriguing and Enchanted is a personal favorite. Phenomenal performances by Adams and Marsden.

    1. Abbi

      You are not going to be disappointed by Grand Budapest Hotel, it’s just fab!

      1. That’s great to hear!

  6. jennypughuk

    I must admit that I’ve watched the trailer for The Grand Budapest Hotel a fair few times, and it’s just as funny every time, I’m really looking forward to watching it. Michael showed me Glengarry Glen Ross as part of my “filmic education” and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Another great list! πŸ™‚

    1. Abbi

      Thanks! I hope you get to see Grand Budapest Hotel soon. It’s every bit as good as the trailer.


    ….No, I am not having a temper tantrum (Folds arms with a serious mad face).

    1. Abbi

      Aww! That sucks! It will totally be worth it when you do get to see it though.

  8. Great reviews as always. : ) Sorry I’m so behind with this blogathon going on! I just can’t make myself go to a Wes Anderson film. But I’m surprised you didn’t mind Enchanted it seems! : )

    1. Abbi

      I quite liked Enchanted. It seemed to be taking the piss out of itself which was fun and James Marsden was hilarious!

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