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The Grand Budapest Hotel: My review

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL for http://www.clubfashionista.com

At times I feel that my tastes are unnatural compared to the opinion of the majority of the people in this planet. Some call it having a rebel mentality in which I do not follow the trends and what everybody is hyping about. I call it being opinionated and sticking to my feelings. Such is the case with artists like Beyonce and Rhianna. I openly admit to NOT liking their music and I have been called crazy for it.

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I went to see the movie The Grand Budapest Hotel with my hopes up. So many people have been raving about how great of a movie it is. Knowing that I was on my way to see a Wes Anderson movie, I knew to expect a well respected and talented cast ensemble. Such was the case with a great cast which consists of actors Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, among others. I was not dissapointed as to the acting is considered. Perfect line deliveries and Anderson’s deep rooted love for symmetry in his compositions is what actually kept me awake throughout the movie.

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This adventure-comedy-tragedy tells the story about a legendary concierge (Fiennes) at a famous European hotel on the verge of World War II and his protege, hotel boy and film narrator Zero Moustafa. It involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune. Because of the lack of similarities between two actors playing the same character at different times, I became pretty confused at an early stage in the movie. Abraham (older Moustafa) and his early version, Tony Revolori, do not look like each other at all. By the time I figured it out it was already too late for me to catch up with the whole story. The crazy sped-up chase scenes added to my confusion. It became too chaotic and frantic. Even with the sections being introduced by titles with chapter readings, I was lost. Although I love comedy, I am not a fan of the caricaturistic technique used in some of it and this movie contained heavy doses of Anderson’s trademark gift which is making the most mundane look ridiculous.

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On the other hand, I absolutely loved the photography, images, symmetry and color. The visuals were breathtaking and perfectly executed. It was beautifully designed with a gorgeous use of color and texture. The Costume Design department might be on their way to Oscar night. The uniforms for the soldiers and hotel bellboys were immaculately designed.

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In conclusion, this quirky, fast paced, dark comedy is not on the list of my favorites. It takes more than engaging photography, list of a great cast, and people raving about it for me to leave the theater saying, “Wow, now that is a must see”. Still, it is all about perspectives and tastes!

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My latest film Mi Princesa at the Chicago Latino Film Festival 2014

There is an exciting world out there in the movie industry that many people have yet to experience. As actors, we often get asked when and in which movie theater our movie is going to be shown. Not every film makes it to the theaters. Some go straight to DVD or TV. Then you have the film festivals. Typically held annually all over the world, film festivals shed light on independent films, up-and-coming actors, and unique genres.

My heart is filled with happiness and pride as the Chicago Latino Film Festival wraps up. It was truly an amazing experience where stories were told through the eyes of filmmakers from all over the world. For us to be able to show Mi Princesa, a movie in which I had my first role as a lead actress, was an honor. We were one of the films representing my island, Puerto Rico.

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Top:  (Me during filming of Mi Princesa in Puerto Rico)

Bottom:  (With Mi Princesa Director Carlos Jimenez Flores at our movie premiere in the Festival)

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Our first presentation of “Mi Princesa” was on Saturday April 12. I did not know what to expect. Fortunately, we had a full house. It is customed that at the end of a movie being presented at a festival there is a Q & A (Questions and Answers) where the director, actors, producers step up to the front and respond to questions from the audience. I have to say that this was one of my favorite parts of the entire process. Being able to explain different aspects of working in the film, decisions taken as an actress for my role, and answering to the other curiosities from the audience was an absolute honor for me. Words cannot describe how I felt as I spoke to each and every one of the people that came to me after we exited the sala.

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Being an actress sometimes you go through your ups and downs, insecurities and fear regarding your career . It can be a very unstable lifestyle that you try to balance with family, friends and love relationships. But moments like these, when you receive immediate feedback from your work, is when you realize that you are where you have to be, you are doing what you should be doing. I met so many beautiful people. Words of encouragement, no agendas, simply pure love and respect. My heart was crying happy tears.

Attending these Film Festivals, you not only get the opportunity to interact with the audience but also with fellow actors, directors, and producers who are out there presenting their latest work of art, their “babies.” Through the daily luncheons provided by the swell festival organizers, we had the opportunity to meet, talk about our projects, make connections, share our experiences in the film making process while, of course, enjoy some great wine and food as well.

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(With Colombian actor Manolo Cardona)

How beautiful it is to sit in a room with people from completely different countries and backgrounds but with one big thing in common: a love for creating films. It has been one of my biggest gratifications so far. I will forever treasure the experience, the inspiration, and the kindness I received at the Chicago Latin Film Festival.

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(With Chilean actress Paulina Garcia.  She received the Career Achievement Award at the Festival)

I encourage everybody to support the Film Festivals. You learn to appreciate this art at a whole new level and at the same time learn about other cultures. Aside from our movie, “Mi Princesa”, I was able to attend various movie showings and enjoyed beautiful cinematography and storytelling. There is no need for a Hollywood budget to make a great movie. No big crews, not so much complexity on the story board. All you need is a good STORY to tell.

I want to highlight the movies “El Faro” (Colombia-Dir. Pacho Bottia), “No quiero dormir sola” (Mexico-Dir. Natalia Beristain), “I am from Chile” (Gonzalo Diaz), “Somos gente honrada” (Spain Dir. Alejandro Marzoa), “Corazon de Leon” (Argentina- Dir. Marcos Carnevale), and short film “Eggman” (USA-Dir. Victor Martin).

I also want to thank Festival Director Pepe Vargas for a well organized festival and for always being present and available for anything we needed. Congratulations on a successful 30th year Anniversary of the Chicago Latino Film Festival.

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(With Festival Director Pepe Vargas)

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