Youth (2015)

For my 100th movie on the 100th day in this series I was wanting something a little special to mark this huge milestone.  Oops.   Not to worry, I will chose better for my 200th movie.

Youth had so much promise, with

Michael Caine and

Harvey Keitel as two aging friends, at a spa retreat in the Swiss Alps.  Quirky and stylistic, we followed these pair as they wrestle with what is their last professional outing.  Caine is maestro conductor who is coaxed to giving one last performance in front of the Queen.  Keitel is a movie director who wants to his one last movie made and in the can.

They both bump into a variety of surreal characters who find themselves at the same retreat for a variety of reasons.

Paul Dano plays the hip young actor (think Shia LaBeouf – who he incidentally looks very alike) who represents the old boys career beginning.  He is there for them to bounce off and realize opportunities taken and also lost.

Many a cameo creeps in, including a wonderful piece by the beautiful quirky  Paloma Faith who plays herself, when the son decides to date a pop star.

The movie tries far too hard to be a mood piece.  Drawn out scenes that never seem to get to the point, lots of lingering shots on people standing around (sometimes nude granted so not as bad as it could have been) and basically you are left wondering if you have missed anything.

There is one particular scene with

Rachel Weisz sitting on a sun lounger while she talks with her new mountaineer.  The problem is that the scene switches between two cameras – one in front of her, one behind her.  However the continuity is so ridiculously out of sync as her hand moves on each scene you can’t help but be drawn to it.

The movie could have been great, but failed. 

#100 in the series

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Viewing Date
Thursday, 26th November 2015 (Orlando)

Rating
2/10

IMDB YouTubeTrailer

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

How does one do justice in describing this masterpiece?  We have a multi-generational retelling of how a rather grand, gooky, hotel came into the possession of someone that started off his career as a lobby boy.

Ralph Fiennes steals the show as Mr Gustav the concierge that maintains the quality and prestige of the Budapest Hotel.  In addition to this, he takes care of his lady clients with a special attention to detail, giving them the full service and companionship they so crave. 

It is due to this special service that our story originates.  One such lady, who is in love with our Gustav, dies (or was she murdered?) and leaves him her estate, much to the chagrin of her family.  The story is then set for the romp and surreal antics that we are about to witness.

M. Gustave: She was dynamite in the sack, by the way.
Zero: …She was 84, Monsieur Gustave.
M. Gustave: Mmm, I’ve had older. When you’re young, it’s all filet steak, but as the years go by, you have to move on to the cheap cuts. Which is fine with me, because I like those. More flavorful, or so they say

The dialogue is brilliant with many a witty rant that reminds me of when Fiennes played his hard man from In Bruges.  In addition to the great screenplay, the background has a lot going on.  Keep an eye out for many a cameo and there is a great KeyStoneCop moment from Harvey Keitel.

The cinematography is beautiful, very bright and distinct colours and some wonderful sets as we get a very picture book view of their world.

This movie needs to be viewed multiple times to get a fully appreciation of all its parts.  Each viewing delivers something new.  Well worth the investment. 

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Viewing Date
Sunday, 11th October 2015

Rating
9/10

IMDB YouTubeTrailer