Obvious Child: Q + A

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Grace asked Mia:

1. When and how did you first get interested in this movie? Did you know ofthese actors before this movie?

I watched the trailer for it and recognized Jenny Slate as “Mona Lisa” from
Parks and Recreation. Also, it being billed as an “Abortion Comedy” spiked
my attention despite the filmmakers’ aims to disassociate from that
tagline.

2. How did the movie make you feel? Did it impart any feeling or message
upon you?

I appreciated that there wan an absence of message. The film, in my
opinion, was really about the struggles of a woman in her late twenties and
this “thing” happens to her and we follow this emotionally charged journey on how
she deals with life’s obstacles.

3. Do you feel the movie was trying I send a message?

No.

4. Are you familiar with this screenwriter? What other works of
theirs have you seen?

The filmmakers behind this indie hit are all first time, feature length
writers, directors and producers. Obvious Child was based on a short film
(which most full length films are these days) and collaboration between
these professionals

5. How do you feel about abortion? How do you feel about how NY was
portrayed in the film?

I “feel” that abortion is a choice. New York, or rather, Brooklyn
was fairly represented. I enjoyed the subtle comedy of Brooklyn vs.
Manhattan, rent, independent bookstores, and obscure comedy clubs in
Williamsburg.

Mia asked Grace:

1. Describe the audience where you saw this film.

I viewed the movie at the Tivoli Theater in St. Louis. We walked in right as it was starting so I don’t remember the other movie goers. I think there were 6-8 other people plus us three. My friend Kelsey remembers two older ladies behind us. I remember seeing a young couple in front of us.

2. Was it difficult to find a theater where this film was showing?

Yes! The AMC in KC said they would have it but kept changing the date. The Tivoli here did have it but only offered 3 showings and only one I could make after I got off work at five in the afternoon. Also the Tivoli in KC is pretty far from my house in suburbia so I have to make a serious effort to get out there.

3. What was your initial reaction to the abortion scene?

There was a palpable tension as we were watching. I kept expecting something, I am not sure, more unpleasant but it was so matter of fact and Donna and Max were so cute that it relaxed the whole situation. The scene where she is sitting with all the other women after the procedure is interesting though. I felt ambiguous about it. I think I was waiting for the characters reactions and she didn’t seem to feel strongly any one way.

4. Did your perspective change at all after seeing this film?

About abortion? Not really? Maybe I feel more comfortable about it if I have to have one? I am not sure I will know how I really feel about abortion until I am in that situation where I have to make a decision.

5. What is your biggest praise and complaint on Obvious Child.

OMG! (yes, I just oh my god-ed) Max and Donna were super cute! I love their quirky relationship. She kept doing strange bizarrely hilarious things and he liked her more for them! My biggest complaint was all the awkward jokes in her comedy routine. I am terrible with awkward humor. It makes my chest hurt with awkwardness.

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The Grand Budapest Hotel: Q + A

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Grace to Mia:

1. What made you want to see this movie?

I am a fan of Wes Anderson’s films and after the success of Moonrise Kingdom, I wanted to see what next he had up his sleeve. Plus, I’m a huge Saoirse Ronan fan and wanted to see her in something a bit different than what we usually see her in.

2. Why do you think Wes Anderson Movies always have extensive star studded casts?

Always wouldn’t be accurate because even with Rushmore, at the time, Wes Anderson and the Owen brothers were a bunch of no names from Texas. But as their combined careers gained traction and eventually launched them into the Hollywood mainstream, it was only natural for the trio (+ their newly acquired friends in Hollywood) to want to work with each other again. It’s the same with DiCaprio and Scorsese. Why mess with something that works when you can bring along your friends for the fun?

3. What feeling did this movie leave you with?

GBH left me feeling overwhelmed and saddened. I’m used to Wes’ films having simple story lines that are easy to follow that center around the dramatics of relationships and familial bonds at its core. I think while we get a sense of that between the characters of M. Gustave, Zero, Agatha, and Madame D., a bit of that was lost in so much of the plot twists and turns throughout the film.

4. How did this compare to other Wes Anderson films? What is your fave and why?

After seeing GBH, The Royal Tenenbaums remains my favorite Wes Anderson film with Moonrise Kingdom as a close second. In comparison to those films, GBH, in my opinion, was too over the top per my usual Wes Anderson tastes.

5. Would you call Tony or M. Gustave the hero? Did you like M. Gustave?

I did indeed like M. Gustave and believe that he, Zero and Agatha are the heroes of this film. They remained true and loyal to their friends in life and after death and “truly,” fought for what they believed in.

Mia to Grace:

1. Why did you choose to see The Grand Budapest Hotel?

You wanted to do a review on it and when I looked at the trailer I liked a lot of the actors. Also Wes Anderson is always a good time.

2. What is your favorite Wes Anderson film and how did GBH compare?

I love The Darjeeling Limited and I loved it for the the complex relationships between the brothers and their parents. The emotional drama of each brother was made more poignant due to the death of their father and the search of their mother. GBH was complicated but not in its relationships but rather in its events. The story was a crazy adventure and I enjoyed myself but it didn’t linger with you like many of Anderson’s other films.

3. Did you have a favorite character?

If I had to choose, it would be Zero. He is super adorable and lovable. He is incredibly endearing with his unfailing loyalty to Gustave. In addition, I liked how protective of Agatha he is, even against his own hero and role model, Gustave. I will say it is hard to choose between Zero, Gustave and Agatha. All three were adorable in their own way. Gustave is narcissist but shows his human side to us in his interactions with Zero. There is also his quirky obsession with his cologne and poetry. The poetry thing gets progressively more winsome which each recitation. Agatha is stoic but fearless. Her quiet actions, love of Zero and kitchen genius are all understated. Few of the characters were truly despised, even Adrien Brody’s Dimitri was amusing to me in his static and consistent outrage. Something about his facial expression was hilarious.

4. Did you find the well known stars jammed packed into the film distracting or fun?

I thought it was a lot of fun. It was like they were “Wes Anderson-ized”. The stars are not playing ground breaking roles but seeing them dotted along Anderson’s whimsical tale is charming and interesting. Seeing so many stars in one movie is almost like going to the neighborhood bar, “where everybody knows your name.” I feel as a viewer you have a bond with each actor and having that bond with so many in the cast provides the overall film with an air of familiarity. They all did a wonderful job. I can only imagine this film was incredibly fun to make.

5. Would you or would you not recommend this film to a friend or family member? Why or why not?

I would definitely recommend this film but with the disclaimer that this film may not change your life. It was a visually pleasing murder mystery adventure. If they like Wes Anderson they should definitely see it. He does a wonderful job in the staging and cinematography in this film. It has a story book quality that is appealing and delightful. And along the lines of the Grimm’s Fairy Tales, there are even some darker events.

Grand Budapest cast