The Grand Budapest Hotel, a screwball comedy with Kafkaesque and absurd touches, was expertly written and directed in 2014 by Wes Anderson, who took inspiration in Stefan Zweig novels, putting in pictures his literary universe, and was nominated for nine Oscars in 2015, winning four. Starring Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori, the well-known cast includes a lot of major global players as Bill Murray, Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, Adrien Brody, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Tom Wilkinson, Léa Seydoux and Bob Balaban.

The film unfolds in Central Europe, throughout interwar period of the XX century, and shows a time where the dream of united Europe fades because of the advance of totalitarianisms and its barbarism. It was set in some German cities, as Gorlitz and Dresden as well as other places of Saxony, Vienna, Prague and Budapest,  where  Anderson took inspiration to create the fictional city of Lutz, located in the invented Republic of Zubrowka, the name of a famous Polish vodka. The soundtrack was interpreted by  fifty virtuous musicians, with infinity of Central European instruments, as balaikas and cymbals, instead of traditional orchestral ones


The story takes place in three different ages. It starts in 1985, when a writer (Tom Wilkinson) tells us that he stayed in Grand Budapest Hotel. Then, we see how the writer, arrived at the hotel, when he was younger, in a period in which it was declining, and met the owner (F. Murray Abraham), who, in a third tale, tells the hectic story of the hotel  in 30’s, when it enjoyed its greatest splendour and was visited by  rich ladies who always were searching the legendary concierge’s services, Mister Gustave (Ralph Fiennes). The dead of one of these rich lovers, will cause a heritance fight which leads a highly humorous  plot with large doses of adrenaline along with a mad and brazen outcome.


In my opinion, this film is brilliant, stimulant, more complex than it appears with its underlying and interesting thoughts and its imperfect, realistic and beauty optimism. High-entertaining, very amusing, with an impeccable performance, it has enough quality for all to enjoy I highly recommend it. 






Presumed Innocent was directed by Allan Pakula and is based on a novel by Scott Turow who is one of America’s most popular writers, and also a practising lawyer. Starring Harrison Ford and Greta Scacchi, the film was the tenth highest-earning film of the year in the United States.

The film takes place in the fictional Kindle County (condado de Kindle) in the USA and it’s set in the 20th century. It begins when Carolyn Pholemus (Greta Scacchi) is murdered in her apartment. Horgan, a prosecuting attorney for the Kindle County, needs the crime to be solved as soon as possible so that the situation isn’t able to damage him in his campaigning. For this reason, he assigned the investigation to Rusty Sabiech (Harrison Ford), the most reputable prosecutor of his office an co-worker of Carolyn. However, Horgan doesn’t know that a few months before the murder Carolyn and Rusty had been lovers, although, she broke up the romance months later. The plot thickens when investigators find Rusty’s prints on a glass of Carolyn’s and some phone calls between the two on the day of the crime. All the evidence suggested that Rusty was the principal suspect. Someone had set him up. That’s why he decided to hire a good lawyer to defend and seek the real murderer. He realized that everyone seemed more innocent than they were.

Allan Pakula makes few changes to Turow’s novel and makes the end really moving. In my opinion, it’s a fast-paced film, which provides a good mix between action and suspense. The plot is very intelligent, as well as it keeps your interest from the first moment, because you don’t know who the murderer is until the end. In addition, I like the soundtrack because it creates a suspense-filled atmosphere throughout the film. The star’s performance is one of the best I’ve ever seen. I highly recommend the film to everyone.



Up is a funny adventure comedy movie. It was produced by Pixar and was released in 2009. It won two Oscars. After its premiere it got an excellent review and was considered as the best animated film in 2009.  In 2004 Pixar artists visited Tepuy, Venezuela, for research about the set It raised over $930,000,000 millions in the world becoming the third best movie produced after Finding Nemo (2003) and Toy Story 3 (2010).

Up tells us the life of an old and unhappy widower named Mr Fredricksen. It happens in a big city where once upon a time there were lovely houses and now there are only skyscrapers. An eight-year-old charming boy named Russell appears a day he is going to try to help Mr Fredricksen in anything because he is a boy scout and his goal is getting an elderly helping insignia. They are going to live an unforgettable adventure in the paradise falls (The lost land) in Venezuela, when Mr. Fredricksen decides to carry his home.You will be able to feel happy, sad, and much more feelings despite the characters are just cartoons.

Up is an entertaining movie. This kind of movies has a lot of values such perseverance, courage, friendship and many more.I think it´s really importat for our children. I have to admit I even cried when I watched it. So even though it is a cartoon movie I recommend it for everyone I am sure you won´t be indifferent.





“The Help”, is a dramatic film directed by Tate Taylor based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett and takes place in Mississipi during the 1960s. The main characters are Skeeter (Emma Stone) a sympathetic girl, Aibileen (Viola Davis) a smart and good woman and Minny (Octavia Spencer) an irascible but funny woman. Many of the supporting actors are quite arrogant and mean-spirited.

Skeeter is the daughter of a well-off family and she brought up by the maid of her family. The story begins when Skeeter returned from college determined to become a writer. She saw the chance of writing a book about the relationship of black maids with Southern society. As a consequence of that, she decided to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent Southern families. At the beginning the maids were suspicious and afraid of telling the truth about their lives. But little by little, the maids started to rely on Skeeter.

In my view, “The Help” is a film well worth seeing. Besides, it is an outstanding, uplifting and thought-provoking film. Definitely, I strongly recommend it because it is a film about friendship, trust and human possibilities and you can learn about the strengths and weaknesses of humanity.




The Martian is an American film with science fiction, adventure and fantasy; it´s even even funny. It was well-directed by Ridley Scott and the script was written by Drew Goddard. It’s based on the novel of the same name, by Andy Weir, and unfolds all in the space.

It was shot on location in Wadi Rum, in a place called “Valley of the Moon”, situated in Sourthen Jordan for its dusty and red surface similar to Mars’. Starring Matt Dammon, he plays Mark Watney, an astronaut, in an exceptional performance. It also includes actors and actresses such as Jesssica Chastain, as the main female protagonist or Jeff Daniels as the NASA’S director.

The plot is about how Mark have to deal with all the troubles to survive. A team of astronauts was sent for a mission to Mars, after a strong storm that caused an accident, the astronaut Mark Watney’s crew, left him there, thinking he was dead, but he wasn’t. For surviving in adverse conditions in that place, a planet without life, either water or oxigen, he had to deal with, not only loneliness, but also with basic things or questions like, What to do if his helmet crashed?, or How to create food supplies on a planet that can’t sustain plant life? How to use rationally the water he has.

He created his life system in order to survive. For example he built a greenhouse and solar panels, fertilized the ground with the waste left by the rest of the crew, therefore he can plant the potatoes and they grew up, so he was able to feed himself to go on living. Meanwhile, he tried and got it to communicate to Earth that he was still alive waiting for his rescue.

I strongly recommend it, as it’s an exciting and amusing film. It’s a bit long, but I found it outstanding.





A film review: A NIGHT AT THE OPERA  by Elías Rallo


A Night at the Opera is probably the most important Marx Brothers film along with Duck Soup. Starring with The Marx Brothers (Groucho, Chico and Harpo), the lovely Margaret Dumont (Mrs. Claypool) and Allan Jones and Kitty Carlisle as Ricardo and Rosa, the film is a wonderful black and white comedy. It was directed by Sam Wood in 1935 and nowadays, it is considered a masterpiece of the comedy genre and an old classic Hollywood film.

As it usually happens in all Marx Brothers´ comedies, Groucho deceives somebody by pretending to be someone else. In this case, Groucho will be a member of the high society, cheating Mrs. Claypool, a famous high society millionaire lady who is going to fund an opera company directed by Mr. Gottlieb, and old crank fellow with a peculiar German accent. This very famous Italian opera company has to go to New York to represent “Il Trovatore”, a Guiseppe Verdi opera. The Marx Brothers are close to one of the chorus singer (Ricardo) who is in love with the “prima dona” (Rosa). Ricardo is not invited to sing in New York and he does not have money to follow his lover. Their Atlantic voyage as stowaways on an ocean liner will finish at the New York harbour after a long and mad adventure on the ship. Groucho and his brothers will drive crazy not only the director of the opera, but also all the crew members in order to help Antonio to get closer to Rosa.

A Night at the Opera is an hilarious and intelligent comedy. It is not considered a musical comedy although there are quite a few musical numbers throughout the film. The film is full of illogical and anarchic situations, including one of the most famous scene (Nº) in the cinema history; “The stateroom scene”. A 30’s classical film with a smart and surreal sense of humour that everybody should enjoy. A gem of cinema´s history.




What would you do if you were an important public personality who had to speak in public almost every day, but you couldn´t speak fluently nor speak when you stood in front of a microphone?

This is the plot of the film I’d like to recommend you: ‘The King’s Speech’ by Tom Hooper. This historical English movie, based on real facts, was released in 2011, so it’s quite recent.

The story begins when the Queen Elisabeth II (Helena Bonham, ‘Alice in Wonderland’) discovers a speech therapist called Lionel (Geoffrey Rush, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’) who could help her husband, the King George VI (Colin Firth, ‘Love Actually’), with his stuttering, because it was a big obstacle for his political image.

But, in my opinion, it’s more interesting to notice how the relation between the King and the therapist changes as the atypical clinical sessions make progress, more over when the King realizes that Lionel hasn’t got medical qualifications. His ‘doctor’ is a teacher who helped Australian soldiers during the First World War to recover their verbal communication lost by trauma.

Will Lionel help the King to achieve self-confidence? At least the Australian teacher has the Queen’s support, always shown as a patient and simpathetic woman despite his proud husband.

It’s an entertaining and interesting film although it’s a little bit tricky to understand the dialogues due to Lionel’s accent plus the king’s stuttering, because it make his pronunciation sounds really strange.




I have seen the film GONE GIRL. Firstly, the film describes what happened the day of Nick Dunne and Amy Dunne fifth anniversary of wedding. This day Amy disappeared mysteriously. But soon, we can see how the perfect marriage, is actually a rotten apple. After Nick turns into the principal suspect of the Amy’s disappearance. Nevertheless the whole history of the disappearance had been invented to Amy to get back at her husband for supporting a loving relation with another woman

On the one hand the directeur is David Fincher. Fincher is an important and forceful filmmaker who doesn’t commit mistakes. All his projects have been successful and GONE GIRL is an example of this. He returns with his favourite genre: the thriller. At this moment he is undoubtedly my favorite director

On the other hand, there are the main characters of the film: Amy and Nick. In the first place if I talk about Amy (excellently interpreted by Rosamund Pike). I can say that is a beautiful woman but also she is sadistic, manipulative, controller, obsessive, killer, unstable, worrying and touching. Definitely she’s not well. However this carácter is the best of the film. This duality between good and evil is what makes Amy special. The interpretation of Rosamund is hypnotic, she devours the screen, and also she detaches a halo of mystery that enlarges her. Otherwise Affleck, has never convinced me as actor though it is necessary to admit that his little expressiveness helps in the interpretation of his personage .

In conclusion, it is a psychological thriller (almost psychosexual), catches you without remedy, and when you go out of the cinema remains stuck to you. First the movie entertains you, later it makes you think. And I know that it will be a movie that I will see often along my life. It is not a perfect movie, neither it tries to be, is a too wild movie, the history is too risky, the show that mounts the marriage Dunne is too many bizarre. In the end it is difficult to do a perfect movie that revolve around the more imperfect thing that exists in the world: the human beings.

From my point of view it is the best movie that I have seen in the last years. Sincerely I don’t see anything negative in this film, because everything has looked like to me positive: the music, the actors, the setting, the history… For all this I recommend GONE GIRL totally if you like the psychological thriller and if you like to think about the life and the loving relations. In addition it is possible to see in this movie that the appearances aren’t what they seem and that you can’t really trust anybody.




The Green Mile is and old film, it was made in 1999. The movie was directed by Frank Darabont and it’s an adaptation of a novel, with the same title, by Stephen King. The script is tightly written. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor, Best Picture, Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Although the length is about three hours, the film is never dull. The Green Mile is a touching fantasy drama, with several emotional scenes that drive you to the tears.

The story is told as the memories of Paul as an old man, now in an old people house’s. He used to be a prison guard in the death row and developed an unusual relationship with John Coffey, a black giant inmate charged for the murder and rape of two white girls, and even though he is innocent there is little chance that anyone would believe him. But Paul soon discovers that Coffey has special powers…

The cast is extraordinary, with all of the actors delivering excellent performances. If you enjoy players giving everything to their profession, you must see this film. Above all, Michael Duncan as John Coffey (a black convicted) and Tom Hanks as Paul Edgecombe (a prison guard on the death row), are absolutely convincing.

The death row in a Southern prison in 1935 is the setting for this film and this movie proves how much the director can do with such little setting.

The plot brings so much emotion. It’s an absolutely gripping film, I didn’t take my eyes off the screen for a single instant.




Torn Curtain is a 1966 American political thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Paul Newman and Julie Andrews.

The film is about an American physicist and nuclear scientist named Michael Amstrong (Paul Newman) who is in Copenhagen with his assistant and fiancée, Sarah Sherman (Julie Andrews) to attend a scientific conference, or this is what he wants his fiancée to believe. But everything changes when she discovers that he is flying to East Berlin, behind the Iron Curtain, and is welcomed by representatives of the East German government, because he has defected his country to the other side. Or isn´t it true? If you want to discover the truth, then, you must watch the film.

The cast is excellent, and for me it has been a great surprise because I have never seen Julie Andrews performing this kind of character in a film.

I have to recognize that I expected more surprises, suspense or fun in that film, and, although I was a little disappointed, at least I could enjoy a good understandable English.





Flashdance was directed by Adriane Lyne. Its star is Jennifer Beals as Alex Owens. The film won an Oscar in 1983 for “Best original music”.

The film is set in an American city in the late 80’s.

It is an excellent story about a young girl who is mad about dancing and her dream is to be a professional, famous and awesome dancer in the future.


The film shines with the 80’s music and includes a great hit of Irene Cara. It is full of absolutly amazing dances starred by Alex who leaves the audience speechless with her marvellous figure.

In this film, the viewers can discover the struggle of Alex to get her independence in a world where she has to be strong enough to achieve her goals.


Alex is a eighteen-girl and she lost her parents years ago. Now, she only has an elderly close friend called Anne, who is like her mother.

Alex works as a welder during the day and as a dancer at night. She needs to save money because she would like to study at a school of music. She dreams of becoming famous and she has to improve her dance so this is the reason why she dances in a bar at nights. But she is young and she is afraid of failing.


I thoroughly recommend this film if you like dance. Flashdance will make you laugh and cry, it will make you feel the music in the deepest of your heart with its memorable and superb soundtrack and you will feel transported to the magical 80’s world. Don’t miss it!!!







Directed by Christopher NOLAN and written by himself and his brother Jonathan NOLAN the film INTERSTELLAR is the best science fiction film of the year 2014 and probably one of the best of last decade.

The film takes place in a near future where the Earth is almost uninhabitable, the climate changes and the lack of foods make the situation harder year after year, it seems that the human era it’s going to finish.

All the human resources are focused in cultivate foods and the technology is treaty like a virus because is the main reason of that situation, but a group of scientist (the rest of NASA) try to find another inhabitable planet to give a new future for the humanity.

So Cooper (Matthew McCONAUGHEY) one of the last spaceship pilots in the Earth is selected to pilot the most advanced spaceship to another galaxy in the last and desperately attempt to find a new life for humanity and for his children.

Although the film lengths almost three hours, the plot and the well-known actor Matthew McCONAUGHEY with another of his masterly performances give us the opportunity to enjoy every minute, definitely if you like Sci-Fi and futuristic films this is your film.

Eduardo Torres (NA1)


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Smart Up Your English


Helendipity Weblog

learn English and share your experiences (SERENDIPITY= the accidental discovery of something pleasant and useful!)

Adrian Underhill's Pronunciation Site

Practical Discovery of English Pronunciation

Smart Up Your English


Helendipity Weblog

learn English and share your experiences (SERENDIPITY= the accidental discovery of something pleasant and useful!)

Adrian Underhill's Pronunciation Site

Practical Discovery of English Pronunciation

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