The Grand Budapest Hotel
Continues through Sunday, April 27
|6:30 & 8:30 each evening|
|1:30 & 4:00 matinees Sat & Sun|
Rated R; 100 minutes
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (excerpted)
A delirious, eerily detailed and very funny work from the virtuoso of American indie cinema, Wes Anderson. Set in the fading grandeur of a preposterous luxury hotel in an equally preposterous pre-war central European country, (the fictional Zubrowka). Ralph Fiennes is glorious as Monsieur Gustave, the legendary concierge of the Grand Budapest Hotel in the early 1930s: a gigantic edifice in the mountains.
Gustave is energetic, exacting, taking a passionate pride in the high standards of his establishment and ruling the staff with an iron rod. He affects an air of genial worldliness and deferential intimacy with the hotel's grander clientele but can lapse into high-camp familiarity with the guests. For reasons best known to himself, Gustave decides to mentor the hotel's vulnerable lobby boy, orphan immigrant Zero Moustafa, played by 17-year-old Tony Revolori.
But it is to Zero that Gustave reveals the engine that drives his hotel's wellbeing: his ready, enthusiastic appetite for servicing the intimate needs of thousands of aristocratic old ladies who come back every year. Fiennes is absolutely brilliant in all this.
As ever, Anderson's world is created like the most magnificent full-scale doll's house; his incredible locations, interiors and old-fashioned matte-painting backdrops sometimes give the film a look of a magic-lantern display or an illustrated plate from a book. It makes the audience feel like giants bending down to admire a superbly detailed little universe. Watching this is like taking the waters in Zubrowka. A deeply pleasurable immersion.
Ends Thursday, April 24
|6:00 & 8:15 Thursday|
Rated PG; 105 minutes
In Hindi w/subtitles
Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer (excerpted)
'What do we live for?" is the question that pops up in The Lunchbox,, a romance set in Mumbai. The first feature from Ritesh Batra, aims to offer a meaningful answer: We live, ideally, for love. I'd like to add that we also live for movies as exquisite and exciting, as exotic and inviting, as this one.
The story pivots on a fascinating system that keeps India's workforce going in its most populous city: an army of more than 5,000 delivery men, known as dabbawallahs. Every morning, they pick up lunchboxes (dabbas, or tiffins) from the kitchens of Mumbai housewives and take them - by foot, bike, train, and cart - to their husbands' offices and workplaces. The system is so complex, and so efficient, that it was the subject of a Harvard University study. Only one in a million lunchboxes winds up at the wrong address. The Lunchbox is about that one.
Ila (the excellent Nimrat Kaur) is married to a man who is wholly uninterested and disengaged. With encouragement from an upstairs neighbor, Ila begins preparing elaborate lunches - the old saw, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. But by mistake, the dabba is delivered to Saajan (Irrfan Khan; Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi), a sad-eyed widower, an accountant at a big firm. He is surprised by his meal, and doubly surprised when another delicious lunch shows up the next day - with a note from Ila, wondering why her husband hadn't said anything about his repast. Filled with whimsy and wisdom, suspense and surprise, The Lunchbox serves up an unexpected, glorious feast.