The Grand Budapest Hotel 5 stars
An American author comes of age as Wes Anderson delivers a madcap romp through a fictionalised Eastern Europe. Sparkling dialogue and wonderfully eccentric characters bounce off each other against Anderson’s trademark background of super saturated colours.
The capers come thick and fast as fey protagonist M.Gustav (Raif Fiennes) and his energetic young Indian sidekick Zero (newcomer Anthony Quinonez) navigate their way through hotels, prisons, rich old widows, fascists, and much more. An unadulterated joy from start to finish.
Oculus 3.5 stars
Possibly the worst horror premise of the year. There is an evil mirror. If you go near it, evil things happen and people die. Two children reunited as adults buy the mirror, which killed their parents. Because err.. They want to prove it is evil.
So far, so terrible. However, there is one redeeming feature of this film. The main point of any horror film is that it is scary, and WOW is this scary. Seriously, don`t watch it alone. A film with psychological frights and gore in spades. Don`t judge this film by its plot, and remember take some spare pants to the cinema with you.
La Juala de Oro 4 stars
A poignant reminder of the struggle thousands face in their attempts to enter the US illegally. Three Guatemalan teenagers hope to find their American dream. With a few dollars and many horrors in their way, the odds are stacked against them.
There are glimpses of tenderness and childish joy, but a background of grinding poverty and dangerous men make these brief bright moments short-lived. It will pull on your heart-strings and have you rooting for the trio every step of the way.
In Spanish without subtitles, it is great for beginners, as dialogue is sparse and simple, and the narrative straightforward.
By Duncan Hall