The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Grand Budapest Hotel is a Wes Anderson film with an absolutely incredible cast and artistic style. There is something you can expect in every Wes Anderson film and that is its unique style. You can tell immediately that you are watching one of his films. Some of my other favourites of Anderson’s are his stop motion films, Isle of Dogs and Fantastic Mr. Fox. I’m also extremely excited for his new film coming in 2021, The French Dispatch. The film was pushed from its original 2020 release date due to obviously...the pandemic. The new film will feature some of the same actors from The Grand Budapest Hotel including Saorise Ronan, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson and Edward Norton. The film will also star one of my favourite actors, Timothee Chalamet.
The film was nominated and won many awards at the 2015 Oscars. Nominations included Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and at this point, you get the idea but basically everything. The film went on to win Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Production Design and Best Original Score.
Back on track, I loved this film as it is truly beautiful to watch from the cinematography and set design to the actors’ performances. This satire film is both funny and serious, and it is fun to try to pick apart the mystery of it all. The film is a masterpiece and great for film buffs or people who would generally appreciate its stylistic choices. I really liked the use of depth and large spaces such as the hotel dining room and lobby. Then you have a variety of these huge and detailed sets like the hotel, train, cemetery, bakery, and jail. There is also a strong sense of continuity with the style and colours they chose.
The casting for this film is incredible. There is not one character that I was disappointed with and the film showcases even the most minor of roles with A list actors. It was fun to be like “oh it’s so and so from this movie and that movie!”. As a Marvel fan, it was cool to see Tony Revolori before his days in the Spiderman films and an almost unrecognizable Tilda Swinton before Dr. Strange. The characters carry the story of the film and help maintain the audience’s interest in the film which has a pretty slow pace.
My only problem with the film is the story and pacing. The film is particularly slow and the story is not extremely gripping. However, going into the film I was already expecting this would not be some fast action movie or anything, but it was a bit slow pacing-wise. It is also one of those films where you have to pay attention to the details and there is not a lot of dialogue so if the story was a bit more interesting, I think this would be easier to achieve. Essentially, there is not a lot going on in the story for it to be as long as it is. Yet, there is something about Wes Anderson films and stylistic films in general, that manage to keep you engaged with their odd and unique design and interesting characters.
Even though the story is slow, one thing I noticed that they did really well was going between the past and present day. I tend to find that when films jump from different periods of time it is almost always confusing at some point. In this film, I never had that issue and it was clear when they switched narrators.
Overall, I really liked this film as it was a really unique and interesting film to watch. I love this cast and can’t wait to see some of them return for the next Wes Anderson film The French Dispatch. I love Anderson’s style of film and definitely recommend this film for anyone who likes films that are more distinctly stylistic like the works of Tim Burton and Quentin Tarantino. The film is available to stream on Disney + through their new addition of STAR.