Tag Archives: Saoirse Ronan

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

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Ralph Fiennes hasn’t been given many chances to act silly. Even his lighter roles end up heavy, which is why his filmography is built on Schindler’s Lists and English Patients. It begs the question of how Wes Anderson landed on Fiennes for his M. Gustave, whose kooky concierge is the comedic axis of the film? — a question answered promptly with a hundred minutes of Fiennes’ inexhaustible talent and charm. This may be Anderson’s purest comedy to date, which says any number of things about the director — he’s lightening up, he’s more interested in genre, he understands how hilarious Willem Dafoe will look with a false, canine-heavy underbite. The Grand Budapest Hotel is another minutely detailed, masterfully constructed film from Wes Anderson, and a reminder that he’s almost certainly the most meticulous director working today.

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Hanna (2011)

You could say that Joe Wright is an energetic director. You wouldn’t be wrong, but you also wouldn’t want to go so far as to compare him to a guy like Danny Boyle, who approaches every shot like he’s directing the X-games. But Wright has certainly established a style, and seems to be honing it in his latest, Hanna. This style is built on a fluid mix of a number of different approaches. Wright often employs deep, throbbing club music in his action, nearly taking away any of the diegetic sound. He also likes to keep his cameras close to his actors and hold his cuts as long as possible, giving the impression that there is always something just off-camera ready to strike. And though he has no problem picking up the pace of his films, Wright is just as prepared to slow things way, way down. What culminates in these choices is a style of filmmaking that never truly allows you to relax. For a film that deals with a 16-year-old girl entering the world for the first time and kicking a whole lot of ass, this could be the most effective choice in a barrel full of good ones.

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