Tuesday, 13 January 2015

L.J. SPENCE'S STARTING POINTS: THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL [part 2]

L.J. SPENCE'S STARTING POINTS

39. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (2014, dir. Wes Anderson)

13/01/2015


I am still working out whether we, as the Great British filmgoing public, should give ourselves a pat on the back for what happened last Friday, not only because it completely rubbished the argument I put forward last week about awards only going to films that were released almost immediately before award ceremonies, but also for what it means for our collective tastes.

The news that "The Grand Budapest Hotel", a film released last March, well past the previous awards season, and released on DVD and blu-ray in July, in the middle of the summer blockbuster season, received more nominations at the BAFTA Film Awards than any other film, rightfully made news. 

It is an appreciation of the film in its entirety that it has been nominated for Best Film, Best Actor (for Ralph Feinnes as Gustav H, a remarkably controlled performance of a remarkably controlled, and controlling, character), Best Original Screenplay and Best Director, through the technical categories such as music, make-up, hair, editing and production design, proving that, if you are given a good vision, as is expected of Wes Anderson, you will work hard to make it real.

On the other hand, the success of the film in the UK is also remarkable. It was a sleeper hit, spread more by word of mouth. It became the number one film at the UK box office on its third weekend in cinemas, and spent a total of six weeks in the top ten, only leaving cinemas when it could be bought in HMV. Even I heard, and read, that this would be a quirky, funny film, and it made me want to see it too, and I was pleasantly surprised.

This is the same part of the British psyche that was surprised that the spin-off TV series was "Joey," and not the obvious choice to us, "Chandler" - at least "Frasier" was the spin-off from "Cheers."

However, I don't know if "The Grand Budapest Hotel" can reign over the BAFTA Film Awards like "Frasier" did over the Emmys, especially if you look at the following link - Michel Keaton might have this one sewn up.



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