“Birdman”, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Lead 87th Academy Award Nominations

“Birdman,” the film that triumphantly put Michael Keaton back on the map and “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Wes Anderson’s fanciful comedy, led all films this morning when the nominations for the 87th Annual Academy Awards were announced, with each film garnering (9) nominations, including Best Picture.  Other films with multiple nominations include “The Imitation Game” (8), “American Sniper” and “Boyhood” (6) each, and “Interstellar,” “The Theory of Everything” and “Whiplash” with (5).  All of these films, with the exception of “Interstellar,” earned Best Picture nods.  The last film in the Best Picture race is “Selma,” which surprised many by only earning (2) nods.  Due to the revised voting system, only (8) films qualified for Best Picture nominations – a maximum of (10) are allowed.

In the race for Best Director, the nominees are Alejandro G. Inarritu (“Birdman”), Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”), Bennet Miller (“Foxcatcher”), Wes Anderson (“The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game”).

Bradley Cooper earned his third consecutive Oscar nomination, this one for Best Actor, for his role as real life soldier Chris Kyle in “American Sniper.”  Other nominees for Best Actor include Steve Carell (“Foxcatcher”), Bennedict Cumberbatch (“The Imitation Game”), Michael Keaton (“Birdman”) and Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”).  Best Actress nominees are Marion Cotillard (“Two Days, One Night”), Felicity Jones (“The Theory of Everything”), Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”), Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl”) and Reese Witherspoon (“Wild”)

In the Supporting Actor category, the nominees are Robert Duvall (“The Judge”) Ethan Hawke (“Boyhood”), Edward Norton (“Birdman”), Mark Ruffalo (“Foxcatcher”) and J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash”).  Supporting Actress nods went to Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”), Laura Dern (“Wild”), Keira Knightley (“The Imitation Game”), Emma Stone (“Birdman”) and Meryl Streep (“Into the Woods”).  This is Meryl Streep’s NINETEENTH acting nomination, an incredible achievement.

Nods for Best Animated Film went to “Big Hero 6,” “The Boxtrolls,” “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” “Song of the Sea” and “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.”

The winners will be announced on February 22, 2015.  Mark you ballots now!


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Win a Blu-ray of Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

To celebrate the Blu-ray release of Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, Media Mikes is excited to giveaway one (1) copy of the Blu-ray combo pack to our readers. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of this prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite Wes Anderson film. This giveaway will remain open until June 27th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL recounts the adventures of legendary concierge Gustave H. and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft of a priceless painting; a raging battle for an enormous family fortune; and a desperate chase on motorcycles, trains, sleds, and skis – all against the backdrop of a suddenly and dramatically changing continent.

Blu-ray Review “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Saoirse Ronan, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Jude Law, Owen Wilson
Director: Wes Anderson
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Run Time: 120 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” was no question one of my most anticipated films of 2014. It is also since seeing it one of my favorites. The film is absolutely stunning and like all Wes Anderson films completely out there. It is funny and yet romantic at the same time. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” has an ultra all-star cast including Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Jude Law, Adrien Brody, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Léa Seydoux and Harvey Keitel. Let’s not forget the hotel, which is a like a character itself. This is beautifully shot. If you are a Wes Anderson film, you will not be let down!

Official Premise: The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune — all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” comes to Blu-ray in a combo pack including a Digital HD Ultraviolet copy. The 1080p transfer is nothing short of a masterpiece. The film switches between a wide array of aspect ratios including 2.39:1, 1.85:1 and 1.33:1, which is the bulk of film. I really enjoyed the way that Anderson and his cinematographer Robert D. Yeoman decided to be very experimental with the way they shot this film. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track also works perfectly with the dialogue and score.

Since all of Wes Anderson’s films make their way to Criterion Collection, they are going to have a hard time topping the audio and video tracks. But they definitely have room to improve in the special features, which are ok but nothing spectacular like the film. “Bill Murray Tours the Town” is short featurette with the actor visiting locations. There are three short Vignettes, which run under 10 minutes. There are three promotional featurettes focusing around “The Making of The Grand Budapest Hotel”, the “Cast”, director “Wes Anderson”. Lastly there is a Stills Gallery and Theatrical Trailer.


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Film Review “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori and F. Murray Abraham
Directed by: Wes Anderson
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hour 40 mins
Fox Searchlight

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Though it may not look like much today, a half century ago there was no place finer than the Grand Budapest Hotel. We meet a young writer (Jude Law), who is researching the hotel for an upcoming book. As luck would have it, he is informed that the hotel’s owner, Mr. Moustafa (Abraham) is on the premises. A quiet man, Mr. Moustafa visits often and when he does, insists that he lodge in a small room in the employee quarters. Mr. Moustapha invites our young writer to join him for dinner and, over wine, tells him the story of the majestic hotel.

As the second World war rages across Europe, we are introduced to Mr. Gustave (Fiennes), the concierge of the Grand Budapest Hotel. Gustave is in charge of everything – from the flowers put out on the tables to what is served for dinner. When he’s not looking out for the needs of the guests, Gustave is looking out for the needs of the FEMALE guests, preferably the elderly ones. He gives them pleasure and, when they pass on to a better place, they give him a piece of their estate. As we meet Gustave he has just hired a young man (Revolori) to be the hotel’s newest Lobby Boy. Things go well until Gustave learns that one of his favorite guests (an unrecognizable Tilda Swinton, standing in for Angela Lansbury (!)) has passed on. He attends the reading of the will and learns that he has been left a very valuable painting. However, the late woman’s children, led by a wild eyed Adrien Brody, protest. Realizing his chances of getting the painting legally are probably slim and none, Gustave, with the assistance of his trusted Lobby Boy, steal the painting. And the adventures begin.

Wes Anderson has always found a way to create different worlds so perfectly that we, the audience, feel right at home in them. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is no exception. Filled with fully fleshed out characters, amazing dialogue and a look that is right out of the 1940s, the film travels smoothly on the shoulders of Ralph Fiennes. Moviegoers who know him only as the sadistic Nazi officer of “Schindler’s List” or Lord Voldemort may be shocked when they see what a fine and natural comedian he is. He is joined by an all star cast that includes Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel and long time collaborators Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray. The script, by Anderson and Hugo Guiness and inspired by the works of author Stefan Zweig, is full of the humorous twists and turns that Anderson is well known for. The production design is outstanding, with attention to detail making the film a virtual picture postcard of the Continent.