The Grand Budapest Hotel Thoughts
While most actors bring their own life to the characters they play, Wes Anderson brings a characterization with his directing. His last film Moonrise Kingdom was considered to be one his more mature films but he’s outdone himself again with The Grand Budapest Hotel. It’s arguably his best directed film
Wes Anderson’s direction in The Grand Budapest Hotel shines the most here out of his any films. Of course the bright colors, excessive use of yellow, quirky humor, melancholic moments, are all here but it’s a more ambitious feat from him. Wes’ films tend to be shot in a limited amount of locations but Grand Budapest takes place amongst various locations. There is a sense of raw energy in each & every scene. Not once does it feel disjointed. The prison scenes were probably the weakest part of the film but hardly tedious to watch. As the movie goes on, the exciting it gets. There are tons of great suspense filled sequences including the breakout scene, the museum scene, and the chase scene towards the end. Wes brings a sense of dread & suspense to these scenes yet still maintaing the humor. It’s very reminiscent of Fantastic Mr Fox.
Wes even manages to bring out a much more plot focused script. There’s plot in all Wes Anderson films but with previous films it’s about the characters & their relationships. Grand Budapest Hotel has a clear cut plot that’s the focus for film. The character relationships are still present but are a part of the story at hand. The plot keeps us entertained & interested but we are enumerated with beautiful visuals and a wonderful score. It’s still the quirky score in Wes Anderson films but this is Desplat’s strongest collaboration with Wes. It’s a very iconic score that can be hummed & enjoyed for pleasure.
The one thing that can’t be forgotten is the lovely cast. Wes Anderson prides himself on his casting choices and has formed bonds with so many actors . So it isn’t a surprise that the film carries a very big ensemble cast (most of them being cameos). Wes’ biggest collaborators Bill Murray & Owen Wilson are present but only mere cameos. Still you cannot have a Wes Anderson film without at least one of them. The cast itself is a homage to Wes’ previous films.
Everyone in their part does a fantastic job. This is a cast full of leading actors who have carried films by themselves and none of them outshine the other. It’s a superbly strong casted film. Jude Law is the writer that interviews F Murray Abraham (the older Zero) and their wonderful discussion takes us back to the main story of the film. Adrien Brody is absolutely terrifying & despiteful as the villain. His lackey played by Willem Dafoe is one of the more menacing characters Dafoe has played. Saorise Ronan, a new Wes Anderson addition brings a sense of sweetness to the film. Newcomer Tony Revolori holds his ground well especially with Ralph Fiennes and has set a bright future for himself. Edward Norton is great in his role as the chief inspector but his character really doesn’t add much to the story. It’s Norton who makes him feel like an integral part. It’s also to see the great Jeff Goldblum on the big screen again as well and he doesn’t disappoint. Lastly Ralph Fiennes shines in his role as the lead Mr Gustave. It’s arguably Fiennes’ best & fresh performance in years. Everyone is accustomed to seeing him play ferocious villains or flawed characters but he’s a charming goofball in this. He delivers his lines with a touch of finesse and comes off aloof. He’s absolutely fantastic and a huge reason why the film is entertaining. Come Oscar time, Fiennes should absolutely be considered for Best Actor.
Would I Recommend?
Wes Anderson has crafted a very strong film with The Grand Budapest Hotel. It might not be the best Wes Anderson film but it’s his best directed film on technical level. From changes in aspect ratios, to beautiful production design, to masterful editing to a compelling plot. Wes doesn’t go to the cliche of telling a story about a lobby boy & his mentor working in a hotel with its patrons being the supporting characters. He crafts an endearing story where the hotel is the centerpiece of these remarkable events. Wes’ growth from his past films is present here and he doesn’t forget to acknowledge that by including a few homages that includes a stellar cast. The Grand Budapest Hotel is a compelling tale about losing what we love, nostalgia, getting older and being the best we can in this barbaric world. It’s set the bar high for films in 2014, that not many might be able to live up to making this a must watch. 8/10