Tag Archives: Ralph Fiennes

The Grand Budapest Hotel

It wasn’t at all what I’d imagined. I suppose I was simply a bit careless and thought it’d be a touching story about a hotel concierge. In the hotel, I mean.

And it was, but only up to a point. M. Gustave reminded me somewhat of a holiday manager I encountered more than once, but I believe M. Gustave was far kinder and had rather more finesse than Mr B.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The crazy plot about a hotel concierge who sleeps with all the female guests, but who is both kind and friendly towards his recently employed lobby boy, young, stateless Zero, ought not to work. But it does.

When an old customer dies, the two travel to her stately home to pay their respects. They end up stealing a valuable painting and escaping the long arm of the law. There are some sad deaths, and when M. Gustave ends up in jail, it falls to Zero to run the hotel, as well as get his lovely girlfriend to bake cakes with files in…

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Nice, light fun. No need to take it – too – seriously, and if you don’t, there is no need to be disappointed in the film. More big actor names than you can shake a stick at.

Skyfall

We can’t all make it to see the new James Bond on the first night. But we could do without the spoilers friends provided from the word go. When people on facebook talk about something that was on television just now, but which I couldn’t watch, I tend to read cautiously, in case they give things away. But they are usually good.

So what went wrong with Skyfall? I saw it two weeks late, knowing the two main bits of news already. It didn’t ruin the film, but why can’t people shut up and use some discretion?

The other surprising element this time round was the universal approval of Skyfall. Didn’t hear anyone saying it was a bit rubbish. Or I didn’t until I read Adrian McKinty’s blog post after I’d seen the film. He thought it was boring, and whereas I don’t totally agree with him, I had allowed the thought that they could easily have made it 20 minutes shorter, to cross my mind. Sitting for nearly two and a half hours is a pain.

But, let’s not be too grumpy. It was entertaining. I don’t particularly like Daniel Craig (I’m more of a Brosnan lady), and I didn’t care for the woman who … but who am I to decide these things?

Skyfall

Bérénice Marlohe did well, which surprised me as I don’t always go for the beautiful Bond girls they come up with.

I love our national treasure, or Judi Dench as I believe she’s called. She was good in this one. She’s always good, but it felt like she might have been better still this time. And I knew that she … You know.

Skyfall

Ralph Fiennes was another one who would have come across differently if I hadn’t already been aware of some aspects of his character. Nice man. Not so Ola Rapace, who annoys me. (Is this turning into a list of Witch Hates?) I kept looking at him, feeling he looked familiar, and annoying. Couldn’t place him at first, but saw enough to remind me I don’t like him.

Q was fine. (See, I don’t hate everyone.)

Skyfall

On the other hand, there is Javier Bardem, who is no favourite of mine. Although he is preferable as a baddie than as the love interest. Horrible though it was, I could see the funny side when the tube train … No, no, mustn’t say anything.

Apparently Scotland doesn’t look like it did in Skyfall, according to my Resident IT Consultant, who knows about Scotland. I thought it was nicely bleak, in a satisfying sort of way.

Some good humorous dialogue, and obviously all the action you take for granted these days. Not bad. Not marvellous, since I have no wish to immediately see it again, or anything, but I didn’t suffer. Apart from the vertigo inducing scenes, which made me feel sick.

Nice to see the cinema full, for once. I mean, I prefer it to be half empty for my comfort, but it’s good to know the cinema can fill up when it wants to. Although it was  a Wednesday.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2

Snape

The wait was shorter than it seemed. We went for the first local screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2 to get in before school ended for the day and especially to avoid the end of term.

The cinema had actually been screening the other Harry Potter films in the days leading up to The Day, which is good for people needing reminding, or even for the unlikely person who has never bothered but who has suddenly seen the light and wants to join in, however belatedly. I could have done with it myself as far as part 1 was concerned. Barely remembered how far we’d got or what had happened.

Hermione, Ron, Harry and Ollivander

It didn’t even feel too much as if we began in the middle, for a film that began in the middle. Dobby is dead and Harry is sad. And determined to get going with the remaining Horcruxes. More Polyjuice to get into Gringotts, and Hermione as a polite Bellatrix was a sight to see. Not so sure about Harry’s face-dive into Snapes’s memories, but it was necessary for the plot.

Neville

Harry and Ron and Hermione do a good enough job, but the winner of both book and film has to be Neville Longbottom. Who’d have thought he’d turn out so well? Maggie Smith as McGonagall is also a sight for sore eyes, along with her comfortable Scottish accent. I know I shouldn’t make too much of a relatively small part, but I’m just so grateful she survived. Maggie Smith, I mean. After the first film I had this sudden witchy premonition that someone wasn’t going to make it, and the faces that flashed before me were hers and Richard Harris’s.

It’s actually a major feat that they could make so many films with child actors and have them ‘all’ there at the end. I know one or two have fallen by the wayside, but other than that it’s worked well. Thought Crabbe had had a colour change, but he appears to have been written out.

Ginny and Mr Weasley

I was surprisingly touched by the deaths, which is more remarkable for them not really happening on screen. We see everyone dead afterwards. I’d almost go so far as to say that not enough is made of those deaths. Could be they want to skirt the issue in order not to upset young viewers, but you could easily miss quite how many dear ones perish.

But I suspect that’s not why the Retired Children’s Librarian had read in her paper that ‘people will be sad’. I think they meant ‘what will we all do now that Harry Potter is over?’ Yes, what will we do? This kind of thing is never coming back.

(Photos © Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1

We were afraid it’d turn into one of those occasions when we just never get there; what with so many things conspiring against us and deciding they were more important than the new Harry Potter film. But hardy as we are, Daughter and I, we crawled out of bed for the early Sunday screening, three weeks into the HP season.

I don’t think we’ve ever been this late before.

The HP films have been an uneven lot, but I can safely say I liked this one. Unfinished though it was. If you didn’t know better, you’d think Voldemort had won. (He hasn’t, has he?)

Robbie Coltrane and Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1 - © Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc

People die. Not so many in part one, so more of the fun will have been saved for next time. I don’t care much for the snake. S’cuse me, Nagini. A little bit on the hungry side for my comfort.

Nice scenery, with plenty of Geology for the student next to me. Some silly romance stuff. A Mr Darcy moment (he’s still too young for us to lust after!).

If it weren’t for the fact that Hermione should be not pretty, I have to admit to having been won over by Emma Watson, and it’s not something I say lightly. Rupert Grint on the other hand…

I need a handbag like Hermione’s. And I love the tent, even if I couldn’t cram it into that handbag. That girl can really pack. Oh, it’s magic? Never mind, she can still pack, and she knows what will come in handy.

Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 - © Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc.

That tedious Polyjuice from book two certainly comes into its own here, disgusting though it is. Daughter enjoyed the film as a film, but had to go and point out quite how many changes they’ve done and how some things aren’t even in the book! Fancy that. Luckily I only read the book once, so I don’t recall every minutest detail, making me ever so tolerant.

I think I would like to re-read all seven books. So if Emma Watson could Polyjuice me some extra time over Christmas? Thank you.

Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1 - © Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc.

Am still very fond of the Phelps twins, i.e. Fred and George, and that will end in tears. I know. Also find Evanna Lynch really successfully flaky as Luna. Slightly disconcerting to have the Queen Mother – aka Helena Bonham Carter – as the beautifully menacing Bellatrix.

I’m all for them having divided the last book into two films. It’d be mad not to have done so. But I would have liked to have access to both parts within a shorter period of time. We finished on a (sort of) cliffhanger of a different kind than what you get in proper series of books/films.

(This post co-published with Bookwitch.)

(Photos © Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc.)