Sydney Arts Guide is a key part of stage and film culture, and exists to celebrate the art of performance, in theatres and cinemas.
2014 was a year of amazing diversity, and our twenty accredited specialist reviewers, were all spoiled for choice in the quality of the live theatre performances to be experienced in the City of Sydney, and the suburbs of Sydney.
As the old adage goes, “live theatre is not dead theatre, as there is a different performance to be experienced every night”. Our team of professional reviewers, have each nominated their personal preferences for both theatre and cinema. A small number of movies were nominated out of the hundreds of cinema films that were seen during the last twelve months.
At the end of another outstanding year for the arts in Sydney, on Wednesday 31st December 2014, Sydney Arts Guide announced its 2014 awards in these Stage and Screen categories:-
It’s worth checking in to THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (M) for the cavalcade of rich characters and invigorating incident.
A flashback story related by one guest to another, it concerns a consummate concierge by the name of M. Gustave, played with esteemed eloquence and incandescent clowning by Mr. Ralph Fiennes.
Gustave has elevated beck and call to a sublime service to become the indispensable and undisputed crown custodian of the hotel’s guests whims and desires. Not merely a keeper of the keys but a caretaker of comforts, especially with a coterie of grateful dowagers who show their gratitude in gratuity.
Most glorious of all endowments comes from Madame D., an almost unrecognisable Tilda Swinton whose bequest raises the murderous ire of her son, Dimitri, played in arch villainous mode by Adrain Brody, who dispatches his homicidal henchman, Jopling, played with bulldog stubborn, tripping on a high wire menace by Willem Dafoe.
Loosely based on the writings of Stefan Zweig, Wes Anderson’s film is a romp, a collide-a-scope, articulate, detailed, gorgeous to the eye and ear, and peopled with a cast that illustrates fidelity from previous films and the obvious desire of performers to work with the wunderkind Wes-meister.
Among the galaxy of stars in this big bang movie is F. Murray Abraham, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Bob Balaban, Mathieu Almaric and Lea Seydoux.
The faded opulence of THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL as conjured by production designer Adam Stockhausen confers a wonderful piss elegance to the picture which is beautifully shot in old fashioned format by Robert D. Yeoman, Anderson’s cinematographer of choice since the director’s debut, Bottle Rocket. The tinge of tat eloquently conveys the eclipse of empire and the emerging shadow of fascism and totalitarianism that would engulf Europe.
With a dip o’ the lid to Lubitsch, Coward and the Marx Brothers, Anderson conveys a warm welcome to The GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL such a lovely place, such a funny place, to bring a happy face. You’ll be glad you checked in. It’s an engaging and enchanting stay.