Friday, January 13, 2012

Grand Hotel

Even during the early years of Hollywood, ensemble acting was big. I personally like it. It shows that studios were willing to focus on more than one or two stars.

Grand Hotel features several actors I have either heard of or seen in other films. Here, I want to focus on three that stood out for me. The first is Greta Garbo's worn out ballerina who gets a new view of life after meeting John Barrymore's "baron". You gotta love that immortal line of hers: "I vant to be alone."

Lionel Barrymore's dying man also got my attention. Once mourning not living his life up enough, he soon makes up for lost time. To think this is the same man who played Mr. Potter fourteen years later.

In the film's best performance, Joan Crawford as Wallace Beery's stenographer is perhaps in her most natural performance. None of her lines feel forced, her actions aren't contrived, and she appears to be a normal person. And personally, I adore it.

Grand Hotel describes itself within the title. It's a grand film. All of the actors play their parts magnificently, none of them feeling out of place. I usually gripe about AMPAS choosing the wrong films for Best Picture. Not here.

My Rating: *****

1 comment:

  1. This actually was pretty much the first "all star" movie. Studios didn't want to commit more than one of their big names to a single movie, but after the success of this, many others followed (i.e. Dinner at Eight).


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