Friday, February 6, 2015

The Grand Budapest Hotel - Movie Review

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a film by Wes Anderson which stars Ralph Fiennes, Adrien Brody. Willem DaFoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronin, Jason Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, F. Murray Abraham, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, and Tony Revolori.

Gustave H. (Fiennes) is a popular concierge at the world famous, and entirely fictional, Grand Budapest Hotel. This story tells the tale of his adventures with newly acquired lobby boy, Zero Mustafa (Revolori), during a tenuous time between the two world wars. Their story is filled with intrigue, espionage, love affairs, and stolen property.

So, this is the third Wes Anderson film that I have seen and I can now firmly say that I am not a fan of his work. Fans of his will tell me I just don't understand him. Okay, thanks for the wonderful advice! I will say that his visual style is pretty stunning and his choice of colors in this movie made me feel like the whole thing was played out in Candyland. Lots of pastels and bold, contrasting colors make this a treat for the eyes although it can be said here that too much of a good thing may not be so good by the end. I suppose that sort of defines how I feel about this movie and the other Anderson films I have seen so far. They would be much easier to digest as short films or small, episodic tales rather than feature length films.

The quirky, whimsical style Anderson employs is heavy on comedy with underlying dramatic tones. The important thing to remember when watching this movie is to never take it very seriously. If you do, you will end up being...well, you'll end up being one of those snobby, high and mighty Wes Anderson fans I mentioned in the last paragraph. Actors seem to really like being in his films as is evidenced by the fact that half of this review is the cast list in the first paragraph and they all really seem to buy in to the unique brand of film making that was employed to make this motion picture possible. I suppose there are noteworthy performances although any of them sort of get lost in the endless parade of characters who run in and out of the story. I always like Edward Norton and he doesn't disappoint here along with Jude Law, Saoirse Ronan, newcomer Tony Revolori.

Lots and lots of people really liked this movie, but unfortunately, it just didn't do anything for me. The Grand Budapest Hotel, to me, is sort of like cotton candy. It's always a great idea, is full of sweet, sugary goodness, can cause a stomach ache if you consume too much, and ends up leaving you empty inside when it's all said and done. Either that or I just don't get it...whatever it is.


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