Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

Director: Wes Anderson

Actors: Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe,
Jude Law, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum, Jason Schwartzman, Harvey Keitel

Another piece of gold from the Wes Anderson treasure chest is coming. Set between the wars in a fast changing Europe, The Grand  Budapest Hotel tells the story of Gustave, a Chef d’hotel played by a very untypical Ralph Fiennes. The picture looks like it has everything you expect from a Wes Anderson story: colorful, funny and a cast that keeps on getting more impressive every time. What’s great about Wes Anderson films is his ability to cast actors we all know pretty well to play certain roles, and make them surprise us. It looks like it’s not going to be any different this time. Grand Budapest Hotel is set to come out in March of next year.

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Actors: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna KendrickAnjelica Huston

Director: Jonathan Levine

50-50

A movie about dealing with cancer, death and the life lessons that come with it… with Seth Rogen in one of the major parts? You have to admit it sounds quite odd, but I guess that’s why it caught my attention and made me curious. And I must say, my curiosity was rewarded. Seth Rogen’s performance isn’t much different from anything else he played before: the goofy teddy-bear-like chubby with a certain lack of finesse. But is works great, even in a movie like this.

When Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) goes to a doctor because of a persistent backache, he is diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer. Not only is the ground swept from under his feet when he hears the news, Adam also quickly learns that a live-changing event like this also has an impact on the people around him. Through his illness, he learns he didn’t know some of the people close to him as well as he thought.

I can imagine what this story tells about dealing with cancer comes pretty close to reality for some people. You might think differently because there’s quite a bit of comedy in it. But if anything, that comedy somehow makes the story even more genuine. After all, isn’t humor also a way of dealing with the set backs of life? Don’t get me wrong, this movie also depicts the fear, the helplessness, the disbelief, the anger and a few other things that come with dealing with something of this magnitude. But that’s the beauty of this film: comedy and drama come together in a balanced way. It also tells a story about how, even a major mishap can lead to enrichment in one’s life. 50/50 will put a smile on your face at times, but it might just as well immobilize you on occasion.

Check out this scene where Adam, with the help of his friend Kyle, decides to overrule one of the symptoms of his chemotherapy and shaves his head bold.

Actors: Will Ferrell, Emma ThompsonDustin Hoffman, Maggie Gyllenhaal

Director: Marc Forster

stranger than fiction

Harold Crick leads a rather dull life. He lives alone,works as an IRS tax collector and carefully counts the number of strokes while brushing his teeth every morning. Until one day when he starts hearing a voice that narrates his actions and thoughts. At first, Harold ignores what’s happening to him. But as the voice becomes more and more present and finally reports about Harold’s ‘imminent death’, his quiet, organized life is disrupted for good.

Little does Harold know, his life is actually being written by a real writer, Karen (played by a chain-smoking Emma Thompson) who had her moment of fame a decade ago but now suffers from an nasty writers-block.  She is unaware about the impact of her writing on Harold’s life.

If you are into movies with a somewhat surreal twist to it (like Being John Malkovich, Adaptation), you have to see this one.  It is interesting to see, Will Ferrell, one of Hollywood’s most uninhibited actors,  putting such a restrained character on the screen without loosing credibility. As the story evolves and Harold, forced by his fast approaching ‘imminent death’, starts losing his rigidity, Ferrell gets to be his ‘old self’ more and more, adding a good deal of Ferrell-comedy to it all. Parallel to his search for ‘the voice’, there is also a romantic side to Harold’s story as he has a crush on Ana Pascal (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a baker who is being audited by him but refuses to pay her taxes. The ‘love story’-part brings a nice balance to the whole and makes you feel more emotionally involved with Harold’s sad, nearing fate.

Stranger than Fiction, is comedy, drama and romance glued together in an ‘out of the box’ story. The impossibility of the whole situation and how every character deals with it makes watching it an enjoyable experience.