Wes Anderson is a celebrated director. He has made some of the most unique films, and has quite a cult following. His last few outings however have been appreciated by a wider audience. No more so than The Grand Budapest Hotel. I’ve not been able to nail down exactly what it is that makes this film more appealing to the majority, rather than just his usual fans. Possibly an outstanding performance by Ralph Fiennes? The beauty of the hotel itself? The actual plot? Who knows, but all I do know is that I love this film, and so do a lot of people.
Ok so it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but rarely is there a film that everyone loves.
The film, starring a whole host of big Hollywood players, mostly focuses on Fiennes’ character M. Gustave a concierge at the famous Grand Budapest Hotel. Gustave has to train the new lobby boy Zero Moustafa, played brilliantly by newcomer Tony Revolori. Their adventure begins when one of Gustave’s favourite guests is killed and she gifts him a famous painting. I don’t really want to go into much more detail than that, because this is a really big and bold story that needs to watched on screen, not read.
As I have mentioned earlier on in the week, Wes Anderson is a very detail oriented director. Jason Schwartzman once said that he found a packet of cigarettes in a drawer that wasn’t even required for the film. The set design on this film is sublime, I think it’s the pastel colours that really draw you in. They aren’t too harsh on the eyes and they compliment each other well. Especially the Mendl’s bakery, the packaging and the actual pastries themselves are flawlessly designed and presented.
The script is witty and sharp, with some seriously funny moments, with dramatic turns too. But there really is no other way to describe this film other than an adventure. I’m just going to add a couple of quotes in here to provide you with a sense how great it is, in case you’re still on the fence about this film.
If you love everything that Wes Anderson has ever done, or if you’ve never seen any film he’s done, it doesn’t matter. This film stands alone in many ways. It’s the only film to have ever won him an Oscar, in fact it won him 4. I think it’s a very cinematic film, it helps that it was filmed in specific aspect ratios for each timeline. I personally am very glad I saw it in a cinema, an old cinema at that. It’s a film that belongs on the big screen, being that visually stunning, it deserves as many pixels as it can get. This is a hugely enjoyable film, it has everything: Ralph Fiennes, baked goods, visually striking scenery, comedy, drama, a chase scene, Tilda Swinton as an old woman, Bill Murray, a shoot out and prison. What more could you ask for?