Whimsy and charm on the movie menu this week at Star Hall.
On Thursday, Nov. 20, the Utah Film Center and the Grand County Library are teaming up to present two free back-to-back screenings of Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
They will follow it up on Saturday, Nov. 22 with two free afternoon screenings of the animated children’s film “Ernest and Celestine” at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” features Ralph Fiennes in a rare comedic role as Gustave H., a famous hotel concierge (and notorious womanizer) who takes a young lobby boy under his wing as a fictional Eastern European country finds itself on the brink of war.
The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune — all against the backdrop of a suddenly and dramatically changing continent. Co-star Tilda Swinton is totally unrecognizable as Herr Gustave’s elderly benefactress, although viewers will have an easier time spotting Wes Anderson regulars Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman and Jeff Goldblum, among many others.
Grand County Library Assistant Jessie Magleby is thrilled by the chance to show off the latest work by a beloved filmmaker whose other movies include “Rushmore,” “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Moonrise Kingdom.”
“Many of us here at the library are huge Wes Anderson fans, and we are excited to share this movie with Moab,” Magleby said.
The library strives to present some light-hearted features along with serious films, she said, and the bubbly “Grand Budapest Hotel” certainly fits that bill.
“Who but Wes Anderson could combine illicit romance, art heists, daring prison breaks and Nazi villains with Bavarian pastries, funiculars and high-speed toboggan chases to such perfection?” she asked. “Not to mention the star-studded cast of delightfully quirky characters. This unforgettable film boasts visual riches with exquisite detail and it certainly deserves to be seen on a big screen.”
‘The Grand Budapest Hotel” is Rated R for language, comedic violence and brief sexual situations, so viewer discretion is advised.
“Ernest and Celestine” is whimsical, too, but it’s full of the kind of whimsy that all audiences can enjoy, according to Utah Film Center Artistic Director Patrick Hubley.
“The engaging script and cast, as well as the hand-drawn and watercolor-esque animation, captures the viewers’ imagination and is sure to charm audiences of all ages,” he said.
The Academy Award nominee, which is based on the Belgian book series by Gabrielle Vincent, tells the story of two unlikely friends: a mouse and a bear.
Celestine is a young mouse in an underground land, where cautionary tales of bears are told and all mice are destined to become dentists. One day, she befriends an ursine street musician named Ernest, and the couple set out against the odds to prove that their friendship is possible.
“An offbeat alternative to mainstream films for children, ‘Ernest and Celestine’ is a wonderful film about friendship, individuality and acceptance,” Hubley said.
Star Hall is located at 159 E. Center St. For more information about both films, go to http://www.utahfilmcenter.org/events/category/moab/upcoming/.
Star Hall hosts free screenings of “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Ernest and Celestine”
What: Utah Film Center and the Grand County Library present “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Ernest and Celestine”
When: “The Grand Budapest Hotel” will be shown at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20. “Ernest and Celestine” will be shown at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22.
Where: Star Hall, 159 E. Center St.