2014 so far: Like Father, Like Son and Grand Budapest Hotel strike a chord

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Thanks to TIFF, I was able to get a jump on 2014 releases. And over the last couple months, I’ve continued my crawl. There is much I have been unable to see, but what I have seen has impressed — for the most part.

The two best films I have seen so far this year are Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel — more on that soon — and Hirokazu Koreeda’s Like Father, Like Son. The latter just opened in Buffalo last Friday, and it’s a stunner. The Cannes prize-winner takes a rote plot — babies switched at birth — and handles it with subtlety and humor. There are no over-the-top dramatics or wild plot twists. Instead, it is a beautiful, moving, smart look at the reality of such a situation. Don’t miss it.

I will elaborate more on all of these soon, but for starters, here is my quick breakdown:

  • Grand Budapest Hotel ****
  • Like Father, Like Son ****
  • Abuse of Weakness *** ½
  • Stranger by the Lake *** 1/2
  • Jodorowsky’s Dune *** 1/2
  • Visitors *** ½
  • The Lego Movie *** ½
  • Breathe In *** ½
  • Bad Words ***
  • A Field in England ***
  • In Secret ** ½
  • Young & Beautiful ** ½
  • Endless Love **
  • The Bag Man – zero stars