You don't arrive at the Grand Budapest Hotel without your share of Wes Anderson baggage. Odds are, if you've booked a visit to this film, you've enjoyed your past trips to the Wes Indies (I promise I'll stop this extended metaphor soon), delighting especially in Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and his most recent charmer Moonrise Kingdom. On the other hand, you could be the adventurous sort — a curious diplomat who never really got Anderson's uric-toned deadpan drudgings but can't resist browsing through the brochures of his latest European getaway. First off, neither community should worry about a bias in this review — I'm a Life Aquatic devotee, equally alienating to both sides. Second, neither community should be deterred by Andersonian expectations, be they sky high or subterranean, in planned Budapest excursions. No matter who you are, this movie will charm your dandy pants off and then some.
While GBH hangs tight to the filmmaker's recognizable style, the movie is a departure for Anderson in a number of ways. The first being plot: there is one. A doozy, too. We're accustomed to spending our Wes flicks peering into the stagnant souls of pensive man-children — or children-men (Moonrise) or fox-kits (guess) — whose journeys are confined primarily to the internal. But not long into Grand Budapest, we're on a bona fide adventure with one of the director's most attractive heroes to date: the didactic Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes mastering sympathetic comedy better than anyone could have imagined he might), who invests his heart and soul into the titular hotel, an oasis of nobility in a decaying 1930s Europe. Gustave is plucked from his sadomasochistic nirvana overseeing every cog and sprocket in the mountaintop institution and thrust into a madcap caper — reminiscent of, and not accidentally, the Hollywood comedies of the era — involving murder, framing, art theft, jailbreak, love, sex, envy, secret societies, high speed chases... believe me, I haven't given half of it away. Along the way, we rope in a courageous baker (Saoirse Ronan), a dutiful attorney (Jeff Goldblum), a hotheaded socialite (Adrien Brody) and his psychopathic henchman (Willem Dafoe), and no shortage of Anderson regulars. The director proves just as adept at the large scale as he is at the small, delivering would-be cartoon high jinks with the same tangible life that you'd find in a Billy Wilder romp or one of the better Hope/Crosby Road to movies.
Anchoring the monkey business down to a recognizable planet Earth (without sacrificing an ounce of comedy) is the throughline of Gustave's budding friendship with his lobby boy, Zero (newcomer Tony Revolori, whose performance is an unprecedented and thrilling mixture of Wes Anderson stoicism and tempered humility), the only living being who appreciates the significance of the Grand Budapest as much as Gustave does. In joining these two oddballs on their quest beyond the parameters of FDA-approved doses of zany, we appreciate it, too: the significance of holding fast to something you believe in, understand, trust, and love in a world that makes less and less sense everyday. Anderson's World War II might not be as ostensibly hard-hitting as that to which modern cinema is accustomed, but there's a chilling, somber horror story lurking beneath the surface of Grand Budapest. Behind every side-splitting laugh, cookie cutter backdrop, and otherworldly antic, there is a pulsating dread that makes it all mean something. As vivid as the worlds of Rushmore, Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Moonrise might well have been, none have had this much weight and soul.
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So it's astonishing that we're able to zip to and fro' every crevice of this haunting, misty Central Europe at top speeds, grins never waning as our hero Gustave delivers supernaturally articulate diatribes capped with physically startling profanity. So much of it is that delightfully odd, agonizingly devoted character, his unlikely camaraderie with the unflappably earnest young Zero, and his adherence to the magic that inhabits the Grand Budapest Hotel. There are few places like it on Earth, as we learn. There aren't many movies like it here either.
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Seth Meyers officially threw his hat in the late night ring this week as the new host of NBC's Late Night. See the highlights of his first week on the job and remember to check back here at Hollywood.com every weekend for your weekly late night talk show highlights.
"Fake or Florida"Seth Meyer's breakout bit of the week was an odd little game show about that kooky place in the USA that calls itself The Sunshine State.
Rudd Battles FallonPaul Rudd absolutely shamed Jimmy Fallon into submission with a this one-sided lip sync battle.
Late Night TakeoverTwo of the greatest thespians of our time, Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellan, try their hand at hosting a late night talk show.
EscandaloThe folks over at Jimmy Kimmel Live! put together a hilarious Latino-flavored parody of ABC's Scandal.
Take That, ArizonaThis hilarious sketch from Conan O'Brien takes a jab at the Grand Canyon State for its anti-gay laws.
Acrobatic ArcheryThis "Stupid Human Trick" really missed the mark on Late Show with David Letterman – she really should've aimed for Letterman's crotch.
Show Me the Digital MoneyJon Stewart lampoons banks such as Credit Suisse for its role in financial marketplace fraud.
A Decade of LoveAdam Sandler and Drew Barrymore profess their on-screen love that has lasted 10 years on The Tonight Show.
Military Over-SpendingWhen Stephen Colbert found out that America is spending billions of dollars on useless military equipment, the fake political pundit doubled down on more spending!
Suit of the LoomJimmy Kimmel debuted his brand new suit, made completely from authentically loomed rubber band braids.
Waste Paper BasketballJimmy Fallon and Miami Heat's LeBron James rapped about their favorite office distraction.
Season 4 of Louie is expected to return to FX this May. Fans of the television series, which is created, written, and directed by Louis C.K., are aware of the comedian's complete artistic and creative control over the material, and we trust that C.K. will do everything he can to make the show as great as the first three seasons. To begin the anticipation, below is a list of things that would make Season 4 one for the ages.
Multi-episode arcsAlthough Louie is known for its lack of continuity, some of the most fascinating stuff happens in stories that span more than one episode. Season 3, for example, gave us "Daddy's Girlfriend," a harrowing portrait of a date gone wrong, and it remains the show's greatest achievement.
Guest starsThe best thing about Louie is its perfectly cast guest stars. Among the more notable ones have been Ricky Gervais as Louie's hilariously inappropriate doctor, Melissa Leo as Louie's sexually aggressive date, and (perhaps best of all) David Lynch as Louie's professional mentor. Not to mention cameo appearances by Robin Williams and F. Murray Abraham. Here's hoping that Season 4 surprises us with more guest stars.
FlashbacksEvery now and then, a Louie episode will provide a glimpse into Louie's childhood. The Season 1 episode "God," in which a young Louie contemplates the existence of a higher power, is already a classic; in "Poker/Divorce," Louie reminisces on a former classmate to hilarious results. It would be fun in Season 4 to witness Louie's first attempts at stand-up comedy, or even to observe how he interacted as a teenager.
PamelaIt's been a while since we've seen Pamela (Pamela Adlon), Louie's love interest from Seasons 1 and 2 who turned him down before moving to France to live with her son and ex-husband. Although Louie has always avoided the conventions of television storytelling, few fictional relationships are as authentic and moving as the one shared between Pamela and Louie. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but it would be a beautiful moment if Pamela returns.
DaughtersLouie understandably revolves around the comedian's daily adventures, but it's always lovely to observe his interactions with his daughters Lilly (Hadley Delany) and Jane (Ursula Parker). Now that they're getting older, it'd be interesting to see how this relationship is tested, and whether or not it can sustain through adolescence.
British actress Kelly Brook has ended her whirlwind romance with model boyfriend David Mcintosh. Brook met McIntosh, a former star of British TV show Gladiators, at a New Year's Eve (31Dec13) party, but she has called it off less two months into the romance.
On Tuesday (17Feb14), Brook hinted at the split by posting a cryptic message on her Instagram.com page, along with the caption, "Keep your Intentions pure."
McIntosh has now reportedly confirmed the split news to Britain's Daily Star newspaper, saying, "I thought we'd clicked. I thought we were having a lot of fun. I didn't ever want to jinx it by saying or doing too much. We were taking things slowly. I would've liked things to develop further because I do like her."
Brook most recently dated former rugby players Danny Cipriani and Thom Evans.
David Beckham reportedly wants to sign his budding soccer player son Brooklyn to his new Miami team once it is up and running. Beckham announced earlier this month (Feb14) that he will be returning to the U.S. soccer scene by creating his own Major League Soccer (MLS) team in Miami, Florida with his business partner Simon Fuller.
His 14-year-old son Brooklyn has already undergone a trial with his father's former team Manchester United, and now reports suggest Beckham is planing to use his MSL venture to launch the youngster's career.
A source tells Britain's Daily Star newspaper, "The Beckham family see their future in the U.S. at the moment. As a result, it makes sense for Brooklyn to play for his dad's team.
"At first, he had reservations because people might think he'd get an easy ride. But it would be a dream come true for him to play with his dad by his side. They're working together towards making it happen."
British actress/singer Samantha Barks has moved in with her boyfriend, actor-turned-singer Richard Fleeshman. The Les Miserables star was first linked to Fleeshman late last year (13), and now she has revealed the romance has already turned serious as the pair is living together.
Speaking ahead of Friday's (14Feb14) Valentine's Day celebration, Barks told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, "Actually, we've just moved in together and I'm looking forward to spending the day (Valentine's day) with him."
Barks previously dated model David Gandy and Welsh TV presenter Matt Johnson.
British music mogul Simon Cowell has a private jet at the ready so he can fly to New York at a moment's notice to be there for the birth of his first child. Cowell's girlfriend Lauren Silverman is due to give birth in New York this month (Feb14) while Cowell is in the U.K. filming the next series of reality TV show Britain's Got Talent in the U.K., but he is determined not to miss the special moment.
He tells Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, "I am keeping my phone on during auditions 100 per cent. If it happens I have to go and dash on a plane. I probably will be nervous when it all happens. I am going to watch (movie) Father of the Bride tonight to get used to that. I have got a feeling my child is going to be really naughty."
He also added, "I would like to be at the birth - but a little bit far away."
Tragic Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman will be laid to rest at a private funeral in his native New York on Friday (07Feb14). Friends and family are expected to gather for a wake, organised by the actor's longtime girlfriend Mimi O'Donnell, on Thursday evening (06Feb14) and they will bid farewell to the Capote star the following day during a service at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in Manhattan's Upper East Side, according to the New York Daily News.
A host of celebrity pals and co-stars are expected to attend the memorials - Cate Blanchett, Joaquin Phoenix, Ethan Hawke, Michelle Williams and Justin Theroux are just some of the big names who have paid visits to O'Donnell and the couple's three children following Hoffman's his death from a suspected heroin overdose on Sunday (02Feb14).
Meanwhile, his The Talented Mr. Ripley co-star Matt Damon reveals he is still trying to come to terms with Hoffman's passing, because he had no idea of the extent of his friend's drug troubles.
Damon tells U.S. talk show host David Letterman he was unaware of his pal's sobriety struggle after spending more than two decades clean: "I think for people who worked with him, it didn't (show that he was struggling with drugs)... but obviously there was something going on there...
"He went into rehab after I had dinner with him, a month later, and I was as shocked as anybody to read about it so it wasn't the kind of thing that I could see (affecting him)."
And Hoffman's The Ides of March co-star George Clooney adds, "It's weird to be in New York right now because you think of him in this town, so it's very sad. I think everybody in our community is really reeling from it. It's a testament to how much he was loved but it was very sad... It's so hard to understand (his drug troubles) and I think it breaks everybody's heart."
An autopsy carried out on the 46 year old's body on Monday (03Feb14) proved inconclusive and coroners are now awaiting the results of toxicology tests to determine the cause of his death.
Tragic Philip Seymour Hoffman's playwright pal David Bar Katz has followed through on his threat to sue the National Enquirer for publishing fake quotes suggesting he was romantically involved with the late actor. Bar Katz, the man who discovered Hoffman's body in his New York home on Sunday (02Feb14), reportedly told the tabloid that he and the Capote star had been involved in a secret affair and that he had seen his pal use drugs the night before his death, but he slammed the article on Wednesday (05Feb14), insisting, "I never said that."
A source close to Bar Katz told the New York Daily News, "This is a categorical, 100 per cent vulgar and disgusting lie. Even the National Enquirer should be ashamed. It's just disgusting. There will be legal action.
"He never spoke to them. This is so far off from reality. We're calling lawyers now to threaten them appropriately."
And now Bar Katz has filed a $50 million (GBP31.3 million) lawsuit against National Enquirer publisher America Media, Inc., claiming the publication printed a libellous story, falsely stating he gave editors an "exclusive interview".
In the complaint, filed in New York's Supreme Court, his lawyers state: "The story is a complete fabrication. There was no interview. Bar Katz and Hoffman were never lovers. Bar Katz did not see Hoffman freebasing cocaine the night before he died, or at any other time. Bar Katz never saw Hoffman use heroin or cocaine."
His lawyer, Judd Burstein, says, "This article is just disgusting. Here you have Phil's family and his friends grieving, and the Enquirer comes along seeking to make a buck through putrid lies. Worse still, it appears that the Enquirer sent out a press release hyping the story so that it could sell more copies of the magazine. I do not know how these people can sleep at night."
Screenwriter and playwright David Bar Katz has threatened to sue editors at a U.S. tabloid for publishing fake quotes suggesting he was romantically involved with his late friend Philip Seymour Hoffman. Katz, the man who discovered The Master star's body in his New York home on Sunday (02Feb14), had reportedly sold his story to the National Enquirer, alleging the longtime pals had been involved in a secret affair.
He was quoted as saying, "We were homosexual lovers. We had a relationship."
Hoffman's representative has since slammed the article, telling GossipCop.com, "The story is completely 100 per cent false", while Katz has also spoken out to shut down the claims, insisting, "I never said that."
A source close to Katz tells the New York Daily News, "This is a categorical, 100 per cent vulgar and disgusting lie. Even the National Enquirer should be ashamed. It's just disgusting. There will be legal action.
"He never spoke to them. This is so far off from reality. We're calling lawyers now to threaten them appropriately."
Hoffman was found dead from a suspected drug overdose at the age of 46.
The tragic actor was reportedly living alone after moving out of the home he shared with his longtime girlfriend Mimi O'Donnell and their three young children last year (13) after suffering a drug relapse after more than two decades of sobriety.